“We feel that’s the way it works the best. We feel that gives everybody a chance to be pretty ready,” Girardi said, per the New York Post. “Tanaka will be on a little bit of a pitch count the first time. We just like the way it works for our guys.”
The Yankees have not yet officially announced a fifth starter, but general manager Brian Cashman indicated earlier this week Adam Warren is the favorite to land the final spot in the rotation.
Tanaka and Sabathia were considered the top two candidates to start Opening Day. However, Girardi held off in making the decision as he wanted to see how both pitchers responded this spring coming off injury-plagued campaigns in 2014. While Sabathia is coming off knee surgery, Tanaka did not undergo surgery last season for a partially torn UCL. Although, he did miss a few months due to the elbow injury.
Tanaka is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in three spring starts. He also has 12 strikeouts to just one walk in 10 1/3 innings.
"It went really good," Boyer said.
Boyer, who is in camp on a minor-league deal, has allowed only two runs in 9 2/3 innings of work this spring. He has a March 30 opt-out clause in his contract, and is due to make $750,000 in the majors, with up to an additional $100,000 in performance bonus.
"There's a ton of guys in here that have shown they can compete at this level," Lindstrom said. "I just hope I can be one of those guys that breaks camp with the team. It'd be fun to be on a team like this, that has so much potential, especially with how many games they won last year. The pitching staff's going to be solid no matter which way they go, but I'm hoping to be a part of that."
Lindstrom has given up seven runs in 4 2/3 spring innings but is excited about how his arm feels this spring.
"I can just tell the ball's coming out better," Lindstrom said. "Hopefully, that can just translate to outs."
Fujikawa hasn't allowed a run in four Cactus League outings but has struggled a bit in two camp games. He remains confident his recovery is on track.
"This is still spring training, not the regular season," Fujikawa said. "It's only going to get better. Coming into spring training, the surgery was out of my mind. As a player, I am really confident. I am not sure what my role will be, but I'll be confident whatever the situation is."
Manager Jeff Banister is looking for the pitcher to build off his spring success.
"The guy is coming off Tommy John," Banister said. "There are good days and bad days. He has logged a couple of good ones. Let's see that continue."
Ohlendorf tossed a scoreless inning and struck out two Thursday in his first appearance since March 15 but continued to battle groin issues. He's competing for a spot in the bullpen.
"I’ve got a basic plan," Scribner said. "Do good this spring and I’ll be around. So I’m just focused on how I’m pitching and not on where I might wind up. It’s made it easier for me this spring. Whatever will happen will happen."
Scribner tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings and has pitched multiple innings in three of his last four appearances.
"The way they’re using me, I’d guess they are thinking of me as an extended reliever, throwing multiple innings," he said. "And that’s fine with me."
Scribner has allowed four earned runs in 11 2/3 innings this spring while racking up 16 strikeouts and three walks.
Doolittle has been doing sock throws this week in advance of progressing to catch. He is expected to begin the season on the disabled list due to the shoulder injury.
Detwiler pitched exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career last season, posting a 4.00 ERA and 39:21 K:BB ratio in 63 innings with the Nationals. He has posted a 4.15 ERA and 8:1 K:BB ratio in 8 2/3 spring innings.
Detwiler is expected to serve as the team's No. 4 starter behind Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis. The team has yet to choose a fifth starter for the rotation.