TAMPA, Fla. Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to make his New York Yankees debut Saturday. Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. But there will be no such protection on Saturday for Tanaka, who has impressed his catchers and the teammates who were chosen to hit against him in two live batting practice sessions this week. Tanaka's first preseason game is certain to be not only a sellout, but a media circus, since his early bullpen and batting practice sessions have drawn a crowd of reporters and photographers from two continents. Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the announcement Tuesday after New York beat Florida State University 8-3. Girardi said with off days, it gets kind of tricky lining up the rotation and that having all three pitch the same day is how pitching coach Larry Rothschild set things up.
New York Yankees fans will get their first look at Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese pitcher who went 24-0 for his last team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.