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Tanaka expects scrutiny in first spring start

02/26/2014 2:21 PM ET
By The Associated Press

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will make his first spring start on Saturday.(AP)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Masahiro Tanaka knows that first appearance in a spring training game for the New York Yankees will be scrutinized.

Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda will follow starter CC Sabathia in Saturday's game against Philadelphia at Steinbrenner Field. All three are expected to throw two innings or 35 pitches.

"Obviously, I understand that some of the people are just going to look at the numbers of the game that I'm pitching in, but I'm not really too focused and worried about that," Tanaka said Wednesday through an interpreter.

Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series title.

"I feel that I'm getting into the rhythm, used to things," Tanaka said.

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