After 18 starts, 129 innings and 135 Ks, Tanaka's season came to an abrupt end in July from an injury to his throwing arm. He came back for two starts in September, won one and lost one, but there were still lingering doubts about his health.
This Spring, Tanaka has removed most of the skepticism. In his first start he retired all six of the batters he faced and Wednesday, against the Braves, he allowed two hits while fanning three in 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball. The Yankees went on to the 12-5 victory, improving to 10-6 and a tie for first place, with Miami, in the Grapefruit League.
Tanaka will get one or two more starts prior to the regular season. He and C.C. Sabathia, who was also sidelined last season due to injury, are expected to lead a revamped pitching staff.
Ramirez got his first win of the Spring with four innings of one-hit, shutout ball, helping the Mariners to a 4-0 win over the A's and a 7-7 mark in the Cactus League.
The mound work added to the case for Ramirez making the full-time roster, dropping his ERA down to an even 2.00 in Spring training. It was his longest stint thus far and, no doubt, his best.
Seattle batters helped notch the win with a run in the fourth and sealed it with three more in the eighth inning. Oakland managed only three hits for the game, and dropped to 10-7 in the Cactus League.