Tanaka looks good in first session off mound

Pitching coach Rothschild says 'he was where he should be'

Tanaka looks good in first session off mound

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka looked good in his first session throwing off a mound, Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said on Sunday outside the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex.

Tanaka threw about 20 pitches in the bullpen on Saturday, his first time on the hill since having offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. Tanaka said there were no issues, Rothschild told reporters a day later. 

"[Tanaka] didn't try to push it too much, but it was good," Rothschild said. "He wasn't midseason form, but he was where he should be."

The Yankees expect Tanaka to be slightly behind the rest of the team's starting pitchers this spring as he builds stamina. Tanaka said last week that he couldn't say for sure if he would be ready to start on April 4, when the Yankees open the regular season against the Astros.

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"We'll keep throwing," Rothschild said. "We'll probably do a mound ... within the next couple days, and then just keep progressing from there." 

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