Yoshinori Tateyama says family is OK

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama talked about the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the northern part of Japan early Friday morning.

Tateyama said he talked to his family and they were OK.

"It's terrible," Tateyama said through a translator. "I talked to my family. I don't have a lot of friends in that area, so I don't know a lot of what's happening."

Tateyama did say one of his friends has had trouble locating his parents.

Tateyama is from Osaka, which is in the western part of Japan and south of where the earthquake and tsunami did the most damage. He said he's seen some of the footage and is trying to follow what's going on through Twitter. He said that it didn't change anything in terms of his ability to focus on baseball. In fact, he pitched an inning in Friday's game.

"It doesn't change anything on the mound," Tateyama said.

Tateyama said his fastball command is not where he wants it, which is hurting the effectiveness of his breaking balls. Without the fastball command, hitters can stay back on the breaking pitches and take advantage. Tateyama has allowed four runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in Cactus League play (7.71 ERA). He has two strikeouts and one walk.

Tateyama's translator, Hajime Watabe, said his family is also OK. The Rangers Foundation is looking at ways it can help the people in Japan with the relief effort.