Masahiro Tanaka signed a 7-year $155 million dollar deal with the Yankees earlier today. How will he fare in the majors? Well Dennis Sarfate, who pitched for the Orioles, Astros and Brewers in the bigs – and now pitches in Japan, faced Tanaka in Japan last season. He joined Zinno on “Last Call” to talk about Tanaka.
“Tanaka has overpowering stuff. He’s got a great splitter,” Sarfate said. Tanaka will deal with the challenges of making the transition to the American game. That includes dealing with line-ups that are just flat out better than those in Japan.
There have only been two other major league pitchers who have thrown more innings than Tanaka to start his career and that could be a problem Sarfate said. “The only thing I question with him is his wokload. They worked him. They didn’t protect him like [Yu] Darvish,” he said. Tanaka will also have to deal with the media. Sarfate said that he will deal with the biggest because his following from Japanese media will be equally as huge as the New York Media.
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