TAMPA, Fla. - Although it's not official, Masahiro Tanaka seems all but certain to be the Yankees' Opening Day starter.
On Tuesday, Joe Girardi laid out his rotation for the next five days -- Tanaka Wednesday, followed by Adam Warren, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi. There are two off days left in spring training, which will allow Tanaka to stay on an every-sixth-day schedule before the opener April 6 at the Stadium.
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Tanaka missed 2½ months last season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and building in extra rest for him has been a priority.PhotosYankees Opening Day starters
Girardi said before the game a decision on the fifth starter should come by week's end and called Tuesday night's outing by Esmil Rogers, a leading candidate along with Adam Warren, "a pretty big start for him."
Rogers, who brought a 2.89 ERA into the game, did not respond, allowing five runs -- only one was earned because of the pitcher's error -- five hits and two walks over three innings.
"Not great," Rogers said. "It was one of those days where everything is not working."
Closer candidate Dellin Betances, whose fastball last season routinely hit 97-98 mph but has sat in the 94-mph range this spring, has not been good so far. His ERA inched up to 5.40 after he allowed one run, a hit and a walk.
"The velocity will come," Betances said. "Same thing last year in spring training, I felt like last year I trusted it. This year I'm trying to do a little bit extra instead of trusting it."