Morning Notes: Masahiro Tanaka start set

March, 2, 2014
Mar 2
11:23
AM ET
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka is set to make his first start of the spring on Thursday in Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies.

On Saturday, Tanaka entered in the fifth inning and threw two scoreless innings at the Phils, striking out two and walking none.

"When I look back on it, I thought he handled it pretty well," Joe Girardi said Sunday morning when asked for another review.

In case you missed it, here is my news story from Saturday, while Jayson Stark talked to the Phillies, who were impressed.

PINEDA SIM GAME: Michael Pineda threw a simulated game in Tampa on Sunday morning. He came out of it healthy and is scheduled to pitch three innings at Steinbrenner Field Friday night. He will follow Hiroki Kuroda against the Tigers. I will have more on Pineda later today.

SORIANO SICKNESS: Alfonso Soriano, still with some remnants of what has been described as the flu, is being held out of games. He is expected to be ready to play in a game at some point this upcoming week. He is taking BP.

TEX UPDATE: Girardi said Mark Teixeira could play in his first game of the spring Thursday or Friday. The Yankees have been taking it slow with Teixeira as he returns from his wrist injury.

WHAT DOES 'DOWNHILL' MEAN EXACTLY?: CC Sabathia's velocity was down on Saturday, but Girardi said that he liked that Sabathia was throwing "downhill." Since everyone pitches on a mound, Girardi was asked to explain it further.

"You are going to see this with his fastball," Girardi said, raising his arm straight up. "Where guys, who get rotational, the front shoulder flies it more of this."

Girardi then demonstrated a motion more to the side, which Girardi said it is sometimes due to overthrowing when they are trying to get more into their fastball -- velocity -- or poor mechanics.

"We saw some rotation last year [from CC]," Girardi said.

THE LINEUP: Here is the Yankees lineup against the Blue Jays. There is no TV or radio.

Just me.

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Carlos Beltran, DH
Adonis Garcia, RF
Austin Romine, C
Brendan Ryan, 2B
Russ Canzler, 1B
Dean Anna, 3B
Ramon Flores, LF

Vidal Nuno, P
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .289
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 61
OPSB. Gardner .787
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135