- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Masahiro Tanaka’s final spring training start Tuesday against Philadelphia will likely determine whether he will be the New York Yankees’ opening-day starter.

Tanaka has a 7.36 ERA in four starts and gave up seven runs in four innings against Washington on Wednesday.

“We want to make sure that we feel that he’s ready and that he feels good about where he’s at before we really talk about who’s going to be our opening-day starter,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Monday night’s game against Detroit. “We want to see him dial it up a little bit. I think it’s important that we see something.”

Girardi called Tanaka’s spring training inconsistent.

“There’s a lot of creative things you can do if you felt like he needed another start,” Girardi said. “Our hope is he’s really good tomorrow and this is a non-issue.”

Tanaka, through a translator, said the start is “absolutely” important.

“Probably my last start before the season starts, and I’d like to see results as well,” Tanaka said.

Tanaka added that he wouldn’t be disappointed if he wasn’t the opening day starter because it’s something out of his control.

“It’s what the manager decides, so I’ll go wherever they need me and I’ll be ready for that,” Tanaka said.

Tanaka had surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his throwing elbow. The team said the injury dated to playing time in Japan.

“Body-wise, I’m fine,” he said.

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