Masahiro Tanaka expected to make his 2015 Grapefruit League debut on March 12

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A source told Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes on Wednesday that Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will likely make his Grapefruit League debut on March 12 against the Braves. That would be next Thursday, a home game at Steinbrenner Field.

Tanaka has looked healthy so far in his bullpen and live batting practice sessions at Yankees camp.

He successfully rehabbed a torn UCL in his right elbow last season and the Yankees’ fingers remain crossed that the 26-year-old from Japan will be able to avoid Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

Tanaka put up a 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 9.3 K/9 in his first 20 major league starts.