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Fangraphs: Abandoning the Fastball


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Masahiro Tanaka opened things by pitching to Jose Reyes. That season-opening pitch of 2015: a low slider, for a called strike, at 81 miles per hour. No mystery ? it was a certain first-pitch breaking ball. The next pitch was a splitter. The following pitch was also a splitter. Reyes went down on three strikes, and Tanaka was off to the best of all starts.

He didn't end up with the best of all starts. He didn't even get to throw a pitch in the fifth. Every single Tanaka start is going to be under the microscope, given the condition of his UCL, and so this might well be our first post of many. Tanaka threw 82 pitches over four innings before getting pulled from a 5-0 game.

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