Tampa, FL, United States (4E Sports) – The New York Yankees treated Masahiro Tanaka’s first workout at their training complex in Tampa, Florida with caution, and kept the media 200 meters away from him.
Tanaka appeared free and easy in throwing 32 pitches but labored through four laps around the warning track, which is approximately one mile.
The caution could be an effort on the part of the Yankees to shield Tanaka, whom they signed to a $155 million, from pressures brought upon by high expectations.
Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season, led his team to its first Japan Series title, and has not lost a regular-season game since August 2012.
Asked if all the media attention had made it difficult for him to focus on his work.
“Actually, no,” he said. “I didn’t feel that way. But just the running part, that was really hard for me today.”
Tanaka added that he was very, very surprised about the huge number of media that went to see his work out and that he was very honored to get that much attention.
His teammates also showed their their enthusiasm and curiosity over Tanaka,
“I’m excited to get a chance to see him CC Sabathia said on Friday. “From everything I’ve heard, he’s great, so I’m excited to have him on our team.”
“Everybody’s talking about the guy, so when he threw a bullpen, even I stopped to watch him,” Ivan Nova said. “He’s really good, I mean in the bullpen, anyway. I saw some videos of him pitching, too. I’m excited that he’s here. It was a huge upgrade for this team.”