Yankees RHP Tanaka says to expect speed to be down this year

WASHINGTON (AP) New York Yankees opening day starter Masahiro Tanaka says his fastball speed could be down this season as he makes adjustments to the way he throws.

Speaking through a translator Saturday, two days before he'll pitch in New York's regular-season opener against Toronto, the Japanese right-hander says he'll be throwing more two-seam fastballs than four-seamers.

Says Tanaka: ''I'm trying to establish a certain pitching style for me this year, so maybe it isn't the wisest to ask for velocity from me.''

He adds that he is changing his mechanics, ''trying to relax a little bit more.''

Tanaka finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting last season, despite being hurt for much of the second half.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.