Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka told reporters (including the New York Post’s Dan Martin) that he expects his velocity to drop a bit this season, though this may have as much to do with pitch selection as it does with concerns about his slightly torn UCL. “Because of the fact I’m throwing more two-seamers, that would obviously make the velocity go down a bit,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “As for my pitching style and my mechanics, I’m trying to relax a little bit more when I’m throwing, so that might have something to do with it.” Tanaka averaged 91.2 mph on his fastball last season, as well as 88.9 mph on his cutter and 86.5 mph on his split-fingered fastball.
Here’s some more from the AL East…
- The Orioles are hoping to make at least one trade before Opening Day to move some of their roster excess, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. Kubatko feels Steve Clevenger has the advantage over T.J. McFarland for the final spot on the Orioles’ roster, though the O’s could also deal Clevenger given their depth at catcher. Nolan Reimold will probably be assigned to Baltimore’s minor league camp to avoid putting the out-of-options outfielder through waivers, as the O’s are worried Reimold would be claimed by another team.
- Speaking of Reimold, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun shares the somewhat unique details of the opt-out clause in Reimold’s minor league deal with the Orioles. If Reimold isn’t on the Orioles’ 25-man roster by July 11, the O’s must send an e-mail to all 29 other teams asking if they’re interested in Reimold. If a team responds in the affirmative, the O’s must either “assign” him to that club in a cash transaction or put him on their 25-man roster themselves. If no team shows interest, Reimold stays with the Orioles.
- Major League Baseball’s investigation of the Rays’ tampering charge against the Cubs will continue past Opening Day, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. The Rays accused the Cubs of tampering with Joe Maddon when he was still under contract as Tampa Bay’s manager, and the matter is still unresolved after over five months of investigating.