The Yankees did their best to handle Masahiro Tanaka with kid gloves during spring training, but that apparently won’t extend into the regular season.
Tanaka will start Tuesday’s opener against the Astros, and Joe Girardi said after Monday’s postponement that he still will pitch Sunday night in Detroit.
Monday’s rainout means Tanaka will make Sunday’s start on his regular four days’ rest. There was some thought that the Yankees, who like to give him five days’ rest when possible, might push him back, perhaps wanting him to avoid taking the mound twice in likely frigid temperatures.
When asked if he’s comfortable with Tanaka making two straight starts in cold weather, Girardi said, “Yeah, he’s going to have to do it. It’s part of our schedule and part of what we have to deal with, so he’s going to have to do it.”
Girardi said he has not considered having Ivan Nova — stretched out from the spring training competition he lost to CC Sabathia for the fifth starter job — take Tanaka’s slot Sunday.
“That’s way too far down the line. I haven’t really thought about that,” Girardi said. “I’d like to get through these three days and see where we’re at . . . Who knows? We might need Nova. You might need him for four, five innings on Wednesday or Thursday or something. So to think that far ahead doesn’t make that much sense.”
Shreve to get seventh?
With Aroldis Chapman suspended for the first 30 games, Andrew Miller is slated to close and Dellin Betances will set up. Although Girardi didn’t rule out going by matchups in the seventh inning, he indicated that lefthander Chasen Shreve will be in there more often than not.
“Shreve had a lot of success for us last year,” Girardi said.
Shreve was one of the best relievers in baseball the first five months of last season and had a 1.86 ERA as late as Sept. 5. He then allowed nine earned runs, 16 hits (including four homers) and six walks in five innings in his last nine appearances.
The Yankees said fans with tickets to Monday’s postponed game can use them for the rescheduled game today or exchange the tickets for any regular-season home game through the end of the season, depending on availability.