ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It was a small step for Masahiro Tanaka but not an insignificant one.
The righthander, on the disabled list since April 29 with a right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis, felt good after throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, the first bullpen of his rehab. "I'm happy about it," Tanaka said through his translator. "I threw everything."
When the Yankees put Tanaka (2-1, 3.22 ERA) on the DL, general manager Brian Cashman estimated the pitcher would be out "conservatively" at least a month. That time frame has not changed as Tanaka, should he come in Wednesday feeling no ill-effects, will be slated for another bullpen, then will have to be built back up.
For now, the news is good.
"I didn't feel anything," Tanaka said of the soreness that led to him being placed on the DL. "But just want to see how I feel tomorrow and make sure I'm OK."
Ivan Nova (elbow) said he is "anxious" to start his 30-day rehab clock after pitching in his third extended spring game Tuesday, a 33-pitch session at the minor league complex.
"I feel like I was trying to do too much," said Nova, watched by Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and teammate Michael Pineda, a close friend. "But I felt I threw the ball well. I feel strong."
Nova is scheduled to throw another extended spring game Monday. If the Yankees start his rehab clock after that, he'd be on pace, without any setbacks, for a late-June, early-July return.
"Overall, it was what you'd like to see," Rothschild said.
Girardi gave Mark Teixeira the day off after the first baseman went 4-for-5 in Monday's victory. "The turf and in the midst of this 17 days in a row," Girardi said. "I was going to give him or Carlos [Beltran] off and they're both swinging well, so I figured I'd give Tex today and Carlos maybe tomorrow."