Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title.
Tanaka and Hiroki Kuorda will follow starter CC Sabathia in Saturday's game against Philadelphia at Steinbrenner Field.
Girardi said with off days, it gets kind of tricky lining up the rotation and that having all three pitch the same day is how pitching coach Larry Rothschild set things up.
All three are expected to throw two innings or 35 pitches.
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