Tanaka To Open Up 2017

To no one’s surprise, Girardi stated that he plans to hand the ball to Yankees’ ace Masahiro Tanaka when the 2017 season commences on April 2 in Tampa Bay.

In 2016, the righty pitched in 199.2 innings, the most by a Yankee since Hiroki Kuroda in 2014, and finished with the third-best ERA (3.07) among qualified American League starters behind Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays (3.00) and Justin Verlander (3.04) of the Detroit Tigers.

According to FanGraphs, Tanaka also owned the ninth-highest win probability added among starters in major league baseball, assuredly securing his spot as a Top-10 starter in the sport.

Since joining the Yankees on a seven-year, $155 million contract in 2014, Tanaka has a 39-16 record and a 3.12 ERA. He can opt out of his deal after this season.