4/26/2014 1:16 P.M. ET
Tanaka still feeling his way through MLB lineups
By Steven Miller / Special to MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka admits that he has little knowledge of most Major League hitters as he works his way through opposing lineups for the first time, and that applies to three-time National League Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols, whom Tanaka will likely face in the middle of the Angels' order on Sunday night.
"The truth is, I haven't had the chance to face them yet, so it's hard to make any type of assessment," Tanaka said.
So Tanaka puts his trust in his catcher, and largely relied on what Brian McCann called through his first four starts to post a 3-0 record and 2.15 ERA.
"I try to go with what the catcher wants," Tanaka said, "but in certain situations, where I definitely know what I want to pitch to this batter, I go with that."
Tanaka relies more on feel than what he sees on film in those situations, watching batters' reactions to any of the eight pitches he's thrown since arriving this offseason from Japan.
"I feel it's very important to look at the reaction of the batter, and according to that, I decide what to pitch," he said. "The first thing is, I really try to see what the catcher wants, then I pitch to that. At times, yes, I do pitch what I feel is right."
Favorable matchup keeps Jeter in lineup
NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi made some lineup changes for Saturday's game against the Angels to account for the 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch the day after a night game, but Derek Jeter remained at shortstop and in the two-hole.
This is the first time this season Jeter started a day game after playing the night before, and Girardi said it is a product of the matchup with Angels southpaw Hector Santiago.
Jeter is 2-for-2 with a home run in his career against Santiago.
Girardi also said not to assume that Jeter will sit on Sunday, given that the Yankees have Monday off.
"I know that I have to watch [Jeter]," Girardi said. "I understand that, and I will continue to do that. Part of it is the situation. We're facing a left-hander -- that has something to do with it. I'll continue to pay attention to it. I also know we have an off-day Monday. I'm just trying to have a feel for it."
Girardi did give catcher Brian McCann the day off, calling on John Ryan Murphy to catch Vidal Nuno's second start of the season instead. Girardi also moved Carlos Beltran to designated hitter, starting Alfonso Soriano in right field.
• Right-hander Jose Campos underwent Tommy John surgery Friday at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad performed the surgery on the 21-year-old prospect, who spent the past two seasons with Class A Charleston.
• The Yankees signed right-hander Chris Leroux to a Major League contract prior to Saturday's game against the Angels and added him to the 25-man roster, optioning righty Shane Greene to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and releasing lefty Nik Turley.
Leroux made two starts at Triple-A, allowing nine runs in 6 1/3 innings. He posted a 1.32 ERA in Spring Training with the Yankees, allowing two earned runs and striking out nine in 13 2/3 innings.
Steven Miller is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.