TAMPA, Fla. — Masahiro Tanaka is making progress after arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow last October.
The New York Yankees right-hander threw 31 pitches Monday during his third mound session.
New York hopes he will be ready for his first regular-season turn in the rotation. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild says Tanaka is "where we want him to be" and "so far there have been no hitches or anything."
"Right now I just don’t think it’s the right time or appropriate time to answer that," Tanaka said through a translator. "I just want to go ahead to take it day to day, and see where that takes me."
Tanaka said his elbow "is clearly better" than before surgery.
"Actually, my body is feeling really good right now," Tanaka said. "I think I’m on schedule."
Tanaka was 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts last year and lost the AL wild-card game to Houston He was on the disabled list last season with right wrist tendinitis and a forearm strain and missed a September start because of a strained right hamstring.
"He didn’t look behind to me," manager Joe Girardi said. "Threw all his pitches. I felt good about it. He felt good about it, which is probably more important."
Tanaka was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament in 2014, when he went 13-5 in 20 starts. He had no issues with the ligament last season.
"I’m not concerned about that anymore," Tanaka said.
Closer Aroldis Chapman missed Monday’s workout to tend to a personal matter and was expected back Tuesday. General manager Brian Cashman said Chapman asked for the day off about a week ago.
A decision by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred could be coming soon regarding Chapman and the sport’s new domestic violence policy.
Chapman is under investigation for an incident at his house in Florida in October involving his girlfriend. Chapman is alleged to have fired a gun during the incident.
"It’s on a timeframe that only he and his office would know," Cashman said. "Trying to speculate about when or what would be a waste of my time and inappropriate."
Prosecutors declined to file charges. Chapman has said he would appeal any suspension to baseball’s arbitrator.
Notes: The Yankees agreed to a minor league contract with 1B Chris Parmelee that includes an invite to major league spring training camp. He could fill the depth role at Triple-A in place of Greg Bird, who is expected to miss the season due to shoulder surgery. … Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova threw off mounds in a group with Tanaka. … Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino both had their first batting practice sessions. … CC Sabathia and Andrew Miller were expected to throw off a mound Tuesday.