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Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: MASAHIRO TANAKA SP NEW YORK YANKEES

Ridiculous.  That is the only word that can be used to describe New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka's performance this spring.  There is no argument to be made that Tanaka has not been the single most dominant pitcher in all of spring training, with the latest gem being the ace doing his part in helping the Yankee staff toss a combined no-hitter Friday versus the Detroit Tigers.  Tanaka's contribution to that was 4.1 innings of no-hit ball where he struck out six batters.  That makes it TWO straight hitless outings for Tanaka who still has yet to give up a run in a combined 13.1 frames.  Tanaka also has been a strikeout machine as well as visions of his 2014 debut begin circling in his owners' heads.  Alas none of these games or statistics count and the hope is that Tanaka will be able to carry this over to next season.  What is really encouraging again are the K's as Tanaka has slipped sharply there the last two years which coincided with the revelation he had a partial tear in his UCL.  The UCL has been no problem for Tanaka though and he comes off a 2016 campaign where he pitched to a 3.07 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 199.2 innings.  Again Tanaka has not been the same 9.00-plus K/9 guy he was as a rookie in 2014 the last two years but his ERA and WHIP are very good assets.  The health is dicey given the fact we don't know if any one pitch could result in Tanaka going under the knife but his status as an SP 2 is secure.  Based on his spring, maybe an ace season is also attainable.  


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