Masahiro Tanaka to debut for New York Yankees Saturday

Feb 19, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws during spring morning practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 19, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws during spring morning practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One of the New York Yankees’ many big money offseason acquisitions will make his debut on Saturday.

Masahiro Tanaka is expected to pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies. Veteran C.C. Sabathia will start the game. Another starter, Hiroki Kuroda, will also pitch in the game.

The Yankees paid a $20 million posting fee to Tanaka’s former team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, and gave Tanaka a seven-year, $155 million contract.

Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi doesn’t know what order the two will pitch in, but knows what he wants to see.

“That’s a big thing for them, to come into a clean inning,” Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. “That’s the way (pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) drew it up.”

Girardi is excited to see his pitcher pitch in an actual game.

“I think you want to see him against big league hitters, see how he does and see how he reacts,” Girardi said. “I’m happy with the progress that he’s made and how he has not tried to do too much. I think he’s adapted to what we’ve asked him to do, and I think he’s kind of embraced it. I am looking forward to seeing him out there.”

Topics: C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

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