Yankees announce Tanaka, not Sabathia, will start opener

Masahiro Tanaka missed more than two months last season after partially tearing a ligament in his elbow.

Reinhold Matay/Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — Masahiro Tanaka will start the New York Yankees’ opener April 6 against Toronto.

Manager Joe Girardi made the expected announcement on Friday.

Tanaka was an All-Star last year during his first season in the majors, but the Japanese right-hander missed 2 1/2 months while rehabilitating a partially torn ligament in his elbow. He returned for two starts in late September.

CC Sabathia will have his streak of six straight opening-day starts for New York end. The lefty is coming back from season-ending knee surgery in July and has 11 opening-days starts overall.

Michael Pineda, Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi will follow Tanaka. Adam Warren is the frontrunner for the fifth starter spot.