Masahiro Tanaka throws a simulated game

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This morning, Masahiro Tanaka threw a simulated game for three innings and 49 pitches. While he admits his control wasn’t great, he says he felt no pain, which is the most important thing.

“I’m looking more at health than anything else and making sure he’s not staying away from things,” Joe Girardi said. “He did not, so I was pleased. … It’s one thing to do a game like this and (another thing) to get in a real game. I understand that’s going to be a little bit different, but I didn’t see him favoring anything, and that’s a good sign.”

Brendan Ryan was the only player who faced Tanaka and he batted left and right handed against him. It turns out Ryan has been experimenting being a switch hitter with Stephen Drew while the two of them take their swings during batting practice. Ryan had two hits against Tanaka, one of the which he described an “Ichiro knock”. Overall, Ryan was extremely impressed with Tanaka, even though Tanaka wasn’t 100%.

“It feels like the velocity is there,” Ryan said. “Some of them are a little bit up or whatever, but that speaks to just being off for a little while. I don’t expect him to be pinpoint or anything like that. Just nice to see him throwing without any pain, from what we understand. He threw some really good sliders. That I didn’t quite expect. … He could go out there and get outs right now just on stuff alone.”

Joe Girardi doesn’t know the plan for Tanaka, but he expects it to be another game, whether a sim game or an intrasquad game should Tanaka experience no setbacks. But here’s the main question: does Masahiro Tanaka expect to be as good as he’s been before the injury once he returns?

“Can’t really say until I actually step on a mound in a game,” Tanaka said. “But right now all I’m trying to do is get myself back to the best shape possible. … I think that being cautious is better than being more excited.”

Some Notes

Francisco Cervelli isn’t in the lineup today, but it has nothing to do with him taking a foul tip yesterday. He’s fine but the video of him writhing in pain didn’t look very good.

Carlos Beltran is the DH today after playing two games in a row in RF.

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