Making official what was reported earlier this week, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that Masahiro Tanaka will start Opening Day.
Tanaka was brilliant as a rookie last season, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 141/21 K/BB ratio in 136 innings, but he was shut down with elbow problems in July and has spent all spring trying to show that he can continue pitching without undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The results have been very promising, with a 1.74 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio in 10 spring training innings, and the Yankees feel confident enough in Tanaka’s health to send him out there for Game 1.
Girardi also announced that Tanaka will be followed in the rotation by Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, and Nathan Eovaldi, with the fifth spot unnamed (but presumed to be going to Adam Warren).
Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.
Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.
Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.