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Managing expectations, Yankees to start Masahiro Tanaka in bottom of rotation

For once, the New York Yankees are managing expectations.

The team has announced that CC Sabathia, the “ace” with the many questions surrounding his status as such, will be the opening day starter, followed by Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova. Conspicuously absent from the top-3 is the $175 million dollar man, Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees seem to understand that while his hefty price tag will always be factored in to the fan’s perception of his ultimate success or failure, the best thing they can do for the Japanese phenom is manage expectations.

Despite posting a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA in his final season in Japan, one can expect Tanaka to experience more than a few bumps in the road as he transitions to the majors. If he’s working out those kinks at the bottom of the rotation, fans may be a bit more patient before bringing down the Bronx wrath upon him.

On the flip side, Tanaka is set up for success. As the 4th man in the rotation, he will be matching up against the bottom of the oppositions rotation, which could help him earn some wins early on. A baseball player’s confidence is a fragile and important thing, and to give him a taste of success early on may be critical in his development.

For $175 million, the Yankees are absolutely counting on Tanaka to ascend to the top of the rotation before the end of the season. For now, however, it is clear they are willing to be patient.

via Managing expectations, Yankees to start Tanaka in bottom of rotation.


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