Masahiro Tanaka took his first step toward rejoining the Yankees rotation tonight by tossing three scoreless innings in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Tanaka, who landed on the disabled list one month ago with a mild right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis, allowed two hits while walking none and striking out a pair. David Lennon of New York Newsday notes that he threw 25 out of 41 pitches for strikes and sat in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball. Perhaps most importantly, he felt good:
The Yankees will likely have Tanaka get stretched out with one or two more rehab starts before activating him.
Amid questions about the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, Tanaka had a 3.22 ERA and 24/7 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings over his first four starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list.