Tanaka to throw bullpen session on Tuesday

Tanaka to throw bullpen session on Tuesday

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday at Tropicana Field, his first since going on the 15-day disabled list last month with a right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis.

Tanaka has been tossing on flat ground as he aims to rejoin the Yankees' rotation in early June.

"I'm encouraged," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They said that playing catch has looked really good, and I know it's playing catch, but when you get 120 feet away, you have to air it out and you have to use your arm strength. And that has been good so far, so I'm excited about his bullpen tomorrow."

Tanaka is 2-1 with 3.22 ERA in four starts this season. Girardi said that the Yankees will check to see how Tanaka feels on Wednesday, one day after the bullpen session, before deciding what the next step in his progression will be.

"Let's see what happens tomorrow and how he feels Wednesday before we put a [return] date on him," Girardi said.

In addition to Tanaka, the Yankees have seen encouraging signs from two other rehabbing starters, left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Ivan Nova. Capuano is scheduled to throw six innings or 90 pitches for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Norfolk on Tuesday, while Nova will throw three innings or 45 pitches in an extended spring game in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @bryanhoch, read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.