Baseball: Tanaka named Rakuten’s Opening Day starter


Former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be the Rakuten Eagles’ Opening Day starter for the 2023 season, the Japanese club’s manager Kazuhisa Ishii revealed Monday.

In his first Opening Day start for Rakuten since 2012, Tanaka will face the Nippon Ham Fighters on March 30 at their new ballpark, Es Con Field Hokkaido, in Kitahiroshima, just outside Sapporo.

“It’s an honor,” the 34-year-old right-hander said in Kin, Okinawa Prefecture, where the Eagles are holding a training camp. “I have a connection to Hokkaido. I’m ready to do it.”

Tanaka had an impressive high school career at Ho...

Kyodo News

Kyodo News