Married Mai Satoda in March 2012…Mai is a well-known singer and pop star in Japan…the couple has a son. Attended Komazawa University Tomakomai High School…over the course of his high school career (2004-06), struck out 458 batters, surpassing Daisuke Matsuzaka's previous national high school record with Yokohama Senior High School (423K)…in the summer of his junior year, was the top pitcher in the Summer Koshien Tournament and was chosen to represent the Japanese team at the U18 Asia Baseball Championships…led Tomakomai to the Meiji Jingu Tournament in the fall of his junior year…began playing baseball in first grade as a catcher…did not pitch until junior high school. Was selected to the All Japan team in 2006 and traveled to play an American All-Star team…while on the trip, visited the original Yankee Stadium and met then-Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui. On 9/25/06, the Nippon Ham Fighters, Orix Buffaloes, Yokohama Baystars and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles all selected him as their first-round draft pick…Rakuten won the lottery and the rights to negotiate with him…signed with the Golden Eagles on 11/2/06…was given uniform No. 18, the traditional number given to the ace pitcher of a professional team in Japan.
In his third season with the Yankees, went 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA (199.2IP, 179H, 75R/68ER, 36BB, 165K, 22HR, 3HP, 7WP) in 31 starts…set career highs in wins, innings pitched, starts, strikeouts and quality starts (19)…opponents hit .236 (179-for-759); LH .237 (88-for-372), RH .235 (91-for-387)…was sixth among AL pitchers with a career-best 4.6 WAR (FanGraphs), the highest by a Yankees pitcher since CC Sabathia's 4.7 in 2012. Ranked third in the AL in ERA behind Toronto's Aaron Sánchez (3.00) and Detroit's Justin Verlander (3.04)…was the lowest ERA by a qualifying Yankees pitcher since CC Sabathia's 3.00 mark in 2011…also ranked third in the AL in opponents' OBP (.272) and BB/9.0IP ratio (1.62), fourth in K/BB ratio (4.58), fifth in winning percentage (.778), WHIP (1.08) and FIP (3.48), sixth in opponents' OPS (.645), eighth in opponents' BA and slugging percentage (.373), ninth in HR/9.0IP ratio (0.99), 10th in innings pitched and tied for 10th in quality starts. Led the AL with a 2.34 road ERA (104.0IP, 92H, 33R/27ER, 19BB, 75K, 9HR), while going 7-3 in 16 road starts…trailed only the Mets' Noah Syndergaard (2.29) among Major League pitchers…was the lowest mark by a Yankee since Ron Guidry had a 1.69 road ERA in 1978…faced his first 239 batters on the road before allowing his first HR to Tyler Naquin on 7/10 at Cleveland…allowed one-or-zero earned runs in six consecutive road starts from 5/5-7/5, tied for the fourth-longest streak in Yankees history; was 4-1 with a 0.62 ERA (43.2IP, 3ER) during this streak. Had 13 no-decisions, tied for third-most among Major League starters, behind Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi (17) and teammate Michael Pineda (14). The Yankees were 23-8 in his 31 starts, tied for the sixth-most team wins in a pitcher's starts in the Majors in 2016…were the most team wins in a Yankees pitcher's starts in one season since 2010, when the club went 23-11 in CC Sabathia's 34 starts…the team won seven consecutive Tanaka starts twice (6/17-7/22 and 8/7-9/10), the longest such streaks by a Yankees pitcher since they won 12 consecutive starts by Ivan Nova from 6/10-9/2/11. Went 6-1 with a 2.27 ERA (79.1IP, 20ER) in 12 starts vs. AL East opponents, the second-lowest intradivision ERA in Yankees history (min. 10 starts), behind Ron Guidry's 2.16 ERA in 1978…allowed 2R-or-fewer in 10-of-12 starts. Was 4-3 with a 3.71 ERA (87.1IP, 36ER) in 14 starts on regular four days' rest…allowed one-or-zero runs in five of his six starts on regular rest after the All-Star break, going 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA (38.1IP, 7ER). Allowed 2ER-or-fewer in 21 of his 31 starts this season, tied for the third-most such starts by an AL pitcher (Justin Verlander-23, Jake Odorizzi-22)…marked the most such starts by a Yankee since Mike Mussina had 21 in 2008…only one Yankee since 1979 has had more in one season (Andy Pettitte, 22 in 1997)…allowed 2ER-or-fewer in each of his first six starts, the second-longest season-opening streak by a Yankees pitcher since 2011 (Michael Pineda, first nine starts in 2014). Was 7-0 with a 2.83 ERA (70.0IP, 22ER) in 11 day starts. In 13 starts following a Yankees loss, was 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA (85.0IP, 18ER), with the Yankees going 10-3. Had a 1.16 ERA in the first inning (31.0IP, 4ER). According to Brooks Baseball, batters hit .166 (37-for-223) with 58K in at-bats ending with a splitter…opponents swung at 36.5% of his pitches outside the zone, the highest rate in the AL and second-highest in the Majors, and at 50.0% of his pitches overall, the fourth-highest rate in the AL (FanGraphs). Was unbeaten in his first 10 starts of the season before taking his first loss on 6/1 at Toronto…went 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA (65.1IP, 21ER) during the streak…was the longest unbeaten streak by a Yankees starter to begin a season since Orlando Hernández went 8-0 in his first 13 starts in 2004 (Hernández began the season on the D.L. and made his first start in July)…Tanaka's streak was the longest to begin a season by a Yankees starter who opened the year in the rotation since Bob Wickman went 8-0 through 13 starts in 1993. On 4/5 vs. Houston, made his second consecutive and second career Opening Day start…became the first Yankees right-hander to make consecutive Opening Day starts for the club since Roger Clemens from 2001-03. On 4/17 vs. Seattle and 8/24 at Seattle, Tanaka and Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma faced each other in the 12th and 13th games in Major League history featuring two Japanese-born starting pitchers…Tanaka earned the win in both starts, as the Yankees are 5-1 all-time in six games involving two Japanese starters…the two pitchers were teammates on the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles from 2007-11, as the games marked the first instances of two Japanese former NPB teammates starting against one another in a Major League game. On 5/5 at Baltimore (8.0IP, 5H, 0R, 1BB, 7K), recorded his third career start of at least 8.0 shutout innings and his first since a four-hit complete game shutout on 5/14/14 at the Mets. Went 4-1 with 3.00 ERA (39.0IP, 34H, 14R/13ER, 1BB, 38K, 5HR) in six starts in August…was the fourth pitcher in Major League history to record at least 38K with one-or-zero walks in a calendar month, joining Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma (39K/1BB in July 2014), Philadelphia's Cliff Lee (54K/1BB in September 2013) and Arizona's Javier Vázquez (39K/0BB in May 2005). From 8/7-19, became the first pitcher in Yankees history (and one of nine in Major League history) to record at least 8K and 0BB in three consecutive starts…is the first pitcher in AL history (and the second in Major League history) to record at least 8K with no walks and earn a win in three consecutive starts (Clayton Kershaw, 7/8-23/15)…according to Elias, from 8/7-24, became the first pitcher in Yankees history to record at least 30K with 1BB-or-fewer over a four-start span while winning all four starts…from 8/2-19, went a career-best four consecutive starts without a walk. Had a career-best 17.2-inning scoreless streak from 8/13-30. Allowed a career-high 4HR in a win on 9/21 at Tampa Bay (6.0IP, 7H, 4ER, 2BB, 5K)…tied a franchise record for most HRs allowed in a win (seventh time, first since Orlando Hernández on 4/23/00 at Toronto)…all 4HR were hit in the third inning, as he became the first Yankees pitcher to allow 4HR in an inning since Chase Wright on 4/22/07 at Boston…had allowed a total of just 4HR in his previous eight starts combined. Did not record a strikeout for the first time in his career on 9/15 at Boston (7.0IP, 4H, 1ER, 3BB, 0K)…became the first Yankee to pitch at least 7.0IP and allow one-or-zero runs without a strikeout since Matt DeSalvo on 5/7/07 vs. Seattle (7.0IP, 1ER, 0K). Finished the season on a career-best seven-game winning streak (8/7-end of the season) while logging a 2.28 ERA (59.1IP, 15ER) over the nine-start span. Was scratched from his final two scheduled starts with a mild strain to the flexor mass in his right forearm. Was 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA (11.0IP, 16H, 9ER, 2BB, 9K, 3HR, 2HP) in four official Major League spring training starts…also threw 4.0IP in a game that was rained out on 3/29 at Philadelphia.
Went 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA (154.0IP, 60ER) and one complete game in 24 starts...was tied for second on the team in wins...recorded a 2.2 WAR (FanGraphs)...ranked eighth in the AL (min. 150.0IP) with a 3.29 xFIP and posted a 3.98 FIP...allowed a .221 (126-for-571, 25HR) opponents' average; LH .223 (60-for-269, 13HR), RH .219 (66-for-302, 12HR)...the Yankees went 15-9 in his 24 starts...Was placed on the 15-day D.L. on 4/29 with right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain and reinstated on 6/3 prior to his start that day at Seattle...made two rehab starts with Triple-A Scranton/WB, going 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA (6.0IP, 3ER, 2BB, 6K, 1HR)...missed a start in late September after suffering a right hamstring strain while running out a groundball on 9/18 at the Mets...On 4/6 vs. Toronto, became the fourth Japanese-born pitcher in Major League history (and the first in Yankees history) to start on Opening Day...the others: Hideo Nomo (3x-2000 w/ Detroit, 2003-04 w/ Los Angeles-NL), Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008 w/ Boston) and Hiroki Kuroda (2009 w/ Los Angeles-NL)...at 26 years and 156 days, Tanaka was just the second Yankees pitcher under age-27 to start on Opening Day since 1975 (Andy Pettitte, 25 years, 290 days in 1998)...had started only once on Opening Day during his seven-year career with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan (2012)...His 0.99 WHIP led the AL and was sixth-lowest in the Majors (min. 150.0IP)...was the seventh pitcher in Yankees history to post a WHIP under 1.00 (min. 150.0IP) and one of just two since 1945, joining Ron Guidry (0.95 in 1978)... Among AL pitchers with at least 150.0IP, his .221 opponents' average was fifth-lowest...had the lowest opponents' OBP (.254) and second-lowest opponents' BABIP (.243)...His 1.46 HR per 9.0IP ratio (154.0IP, 25HR) ranked fourth-highest in the AL while his 16.9 pct. HR/FB rate was the highest (min. 150.0IP)...19 of his 25HR allowed were solo HRs...did not allow a three-run HR or grand slam until his final start of the season on 9/30 vs. Boston (three-run HR by Travis Shaw)...yielded just 4HR in his first seven starts...allowed a career-high 3HR three times...became the first Yankee since 2001 to allow 3HR in consecutive starts (6/21 vs. Detroit, 6/27 at Houston)...allowed 6R and a career-high 3HR in consecutive starts from 6/21-27, just the second Yankees pitcher since 1914 to allow at least 6R and 3HR in consecutive starts, joining Orlando Hernandez (5/25/01 and 8/21/01)...Went 7-4 with a 3.71 ERA (87.1IP, 36ER) in 14 home starts...won four consecutive home starts from 7/9-8/4...opponents batted .222 (72-for-325) against him at Yankee Stadium...made nine consecutive quality starts at home from 7/3-9/13, going 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA (61.1IP, 19ER) during the streak... marked the longest QS streak by a Yankee in 2015 and was tied for the seventh-longest home QS streak in the Majors...Went 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA (66.2IP, 24ER) and one complete game in 10 road starts...completed at least 6.0IP in 9-of-10 starts and allowed 2R-or-fewer in 6-of-10...his .220 (54-for-246) opponents' BA on the road was fifth-lowest in the AL (min. 225AB)...went 2-0 with a 0.89 ERA (20.1IP, 2ER) in his first three road starts, the first Yankees pitcher to throw at least 6.0IP with 1R-or-fewer in his first three road starts of a season since Dock Ellis (three straight) in 1976...Led the Yankees with 17 quality starts, the lowest total to lead the club since 2004, when Jon Lieber and Javier Vazquez had 16 QS apiece...from 7/3-9/18, threw at least 6.0IP in 14 consecutive starts, tied for the second-longest streak by an AL pitcher in 2015 (Dallas Keuchel-29)...Ranked fourth among AL pitchers (min. 150.0IP) with a 1.58 BB per 9.0IP ratio (154.0IP, 27BB) and fifth with a 5.15 K/BB ratio (139K, 27BB)... issued 1BB-or-fewer in each of his final seven starts (5BB total), the longest such streak of his career...his six starts of at least 7.0IP and no walks were tied for most in the AL...went 7.0IP without a walk in three consecutive starts from 6/3-15, marking the longest such streak by a Yankees pitcher since David Wells had four consecutive starts from 9/12-28/03...Had a 5.84 run support average, eighth-highest in the Majors (min. 150.0IP)...was 12-0 in 14 starts with at least 3R of support and 0-7 in 10 starts with 2R-or-fewer...received at least 9R in five starts (all wins)...His streak of four consecutive starts of at least 6.0IP and no more than 5H or 1R from 4/18-6/9 matched the longest such streak by a Yankees pitcher since 1914 (seventh time), first since Orlando Hernandez had four straight from 8/3-18/98...Allowed 2H over 7.0 shutout innings on 4/18 at Tampa Bay (7.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 8K), retiring 21-of-23 batters, including 15 straight from the first through fifth innings...marked just the 11th start by a Yankees pitcher since 1914 with at least 7.0 scoreless innings, two-hits-or-fewer, no walks and at least 8K...in his first start off the D.L. on 6/3 at Seattle, allowed just 3H and 1ER over 7.0IP (0BB, 9K)...was just the second Yankees pitcher in the last 10 seasons (since 2006) to post a line with at least 7.0IP, 3H-or-fewer, no walks and at least 9K (Hiroki Kuroda on 9/25/14 vs. Baltimore)...threw the Yankees' lone 9.0-inning complete game on 8/15 at Toronto (5H, 1ER, 3BB, 8K)...had 10K on 9/8 vs. Baltimore, his sixth career double-digit strikeout game (8.0IP, 6H, 1ER, 1BB, 10K)... marked the sixth time since 1914 that a Yankees starter pitched at least 8.0IP, allowed 1R-or-fewer and had at least 10K but did not earn a win...When John Ryan Murphy replaced Brian McCann in the second inning on 6/3 at Seattle, it marked the first time in Tanaka's Major League career that he pitched to a catcher other than McCann...he had McCann as his starting catcher for each of his first 32 career starts (through his 7/17 start), becoming the first Yankees pitcher in the last 100 years to make his first 32 MLB starts all with the same catcher (credit: Elias)...was the longest such streak in the Majors since the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley (first 36 career starts from 2006-07 with Russell Martin)...Made his MLB postseason debut in the AL Wild Card Game, taking the loss in the Yankees' 3-0 defeat vs. Houston (5.0IP, 4H, 2ER, 3BB, 3K, 2HR)...allowed leadoff solo HRs to Colby Rasmus in the second and Carlos Gomez in the fourth...Went 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA (14.2IP, 13H, 6R/5ER, 1BB, 64K) in four starts in spring training...On 10/20/15, had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow...the bone spur was pre-existing, dating back to his pitching career in Japan...the procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Made 20 starts in his ﬁrst MLB season, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA (136.1IP, 42ER)…marked the lowest ERA for a Yankees rookie pitcher (min. 15GS) since Dave Righetti was 8-4 with a 2.05 ERA (105.1IP, 24ER) in 1981... Led the Yankees in wins and complete games (3), also ranking second in starts, innings and strikeouts... Among all Major League rookies, Tanaka ranked ﬁrst in complete games, third in wins and ninth in inningspitched…no other rookie pitcher recorded more than one complete game…among MLB rookies who recordedat least 100.0IP, Tanaka ranked ﬁrst in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.71) and walks per 9.0IP (1.39), second in strikeoutsper 9.0IP (9.31), third in ERA (2.77) and fourth in opponents' batting average (.240)... Was selected via the Player Ballot to attend his ﬁrst All-Star Game…was one of three Yankees chosen as AL All-Stars (also SS Derek Jeter and RHP Dellin Betances)…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tanaka and Betancesbecame the ﬁrst pair of teammates in Yankees history to be named to the All-Star Game as rookies…also according to Elias, Betances and Tanaka became the ninth and 10th Yankees rookies to earn an All-Star selection, joining Joe DiMaggio (1936), Joe Page (1944), Spec Shea (1947), Bobby Richardson (1957), Ryne Duren (1958), Tom Tresh (1962), Willie Randolph (1976) and Hideki Matsui (2003)... Recorded at least 6.0 innings in each of his ﬁrst 18 starts of the season…according to Elias, Tanaka became the ﬁrst pitcher to record at least 6.0IP in each of his ﬁrst 18 Major League starts since John Farrell (21 straight w/Cleveland from 8/21/87 - 6/6/88)…Elias also notes that Tanaka became the ﬁrst pitcher in franchise history torecord at least 6.0IP in each of his ﬁrst 18 MLB starts…became the ﬁrst pitcher to record at least 6.0IP in eachof his ﬁrst 18-or-more starts as a Yankee since Carl Mays did so from 1919-20 (also 18 GS)... Produced a quality start (at least 6.0IP and 3ER or fewer) in each of his ﬁrst 16 games, tied with Montreal's Steve Rogers (1973) for the longest such streak to begin a Major League career since earned runs became an oﬃcial stat in 1912 (credit: Elias)…Elias also notes that it was the longest streak of quality starts to begin aseason since Greg Maddux in 1994 (also 16)…tied CC Sabathia (6/3-8/22/10) for the longest streak of qualitystarts by a Yankee at any point in a career…no pitcher had produced a longer such streak since Seattle's FelixHernandez (17 straight from 6/13-9/5/10)... Recorded 10-or-more strikeouts in a game ﬁve times, the most such starts among MLB rookies…according to Elias, he joined Al Downing (8x in 1963) as the only Yankees rookies to produce three-or-more 10K games in a season... Became the ﬁrst Yankees rookie to record at least 3CG since Orlando Hernandez in 1998 (also 3CG)... Made his Major League debut in 4/4 win at Toronto (7.0IP, 6H, 3R/2ER, 1HR, 0BB, 8K)…according to Elias, he became the sixth pitcher since 1900 to earn a win in his Major League debut in which he pitched at least 7.0innings and recorded at least eight strikeouts without walking a batter…the only other Yankees pitcher toaccomplish the feat was Rich Beck on 9/14/65 at Washington (7.0IP, 8K)... Recorded 10K on 4/9 vs. Baltimore and on 4/16 vs. Chicago-NL…according to Elias, Tanaka became the ﬁrst rookiepitcher ever to register at least 10K in consecutive games for the Yankees…Elias also notes that Tanaka joinedWashington's Stephen Strasburg as the only two pitchers since 1900 to record at least 8K in each of their ﬁrst three MLB starts…recorded at least 10K and 7.0IP while walking one-or-fewer batters in consecutive starts, becomingonly the second Yankee to ever accomplish the feat (also David Wells on 9/1/98 vs. Oakland and 9/7/98 at Boston)...Recorded 11K in 4/27win vs. Los Angeles-AL, the most strikeoutsby a Yankees rookie pitcher since Orlando Hernandez had 13K on8/13/98 vs. Texas... Improved to 6-0 and recorded his ﬁrst MLBshutout in his eighthstart on 5/14 at NewYork-NL, leading theYankees to a 4-0 winat Citi Field…joined Andy Pettitte as the only Yankees starters to throw a complete-game shutout againstthe Mets (credit: Elias)…became the first Yankees rookieto begin his career6-0 as a starter sinceWhitey Ford went9-0 in 12 starts in1950…according to Elias, Tanaka became the ﬁrst pitcher since 1900 to strike out 60-or-more batters whileearning at least six wins in his ﬁrst eight appearances in the Majors…became the ﬁrst pitcher since 1900 tostrike out at least 60 hitters while allowing fewer than 10 walks in his ﬁrst eight career games (66K, 7BB)... Went 1-for-4 in 5/14 win at New York-NL, hitting a two-out single oﬀ Jose Valverde in the ninth inning…according to Elias, Tanaka became the ﬁrst pitcher to record his ﬁrst MLB shutout and ﬁrst base hit in the same gamesince Pittsburgh's Jeﬀ Karstens did so on 8/6/08 at Arizona…became the ﬁrst Yankees pitcher to accomplishthe feat since Ron Klimkowski on 9/18/70 at Detroit... Suﬀered his ﬁrst loss of the season on 5/20 in the Yankees' 6-1 defeat at Chicago-NL (6.0IP, 8H, 4R/3ER, 1BB,7K)…had been unbeaten in his previous 42 regular season starts (34-0) in Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball…marked his ﬁrst regular season loss since 8/19/12, when the Seibu Lions defeated the Rakuten Golden Eagles at the Seibu Dome... Was named the AL's "Pitcher of the Month" for May after going 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA (43.0IP, 9ER), one shutout, 6BB and 42K over six appearances…marked the ﬁrst monthly award for the Yankees since Ivan Nova wasvoted the AL's "Pitcher of the Month" in August 2013…became the ﬁrst Yankees rookie to win a "Pitcher of the Month" award since its inception in 1979…became the third Japan-born pitcher to win the award, joiningHideo Nomo (June 1995 and September 1996) and Hideki Irabu (May 1998 and July 1999)... According to Elias, Tanaka became only the ﬁfth pitcher since 1900 to record 100-or-more strikeouts throughhis ﬁrst 13 career Major League games (103K), joining Hideo Nomo-119K, Kerry Wood-118K, Herb Score-107Kand Jose DeLeon-106K... Improved to 11-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.99 following 6/17 win vs. Toronto…became the ﬁrst Yankees pitcher towin at least 11 of his ﬁrst 12 decisions in a season since Roger Clemens began the 2001 season with an 11-1 record... Was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inﬂammation on 7/9…was transferred to the 60-dayD.L. on 9/2…missed 65 games from 7/9-9/20... Returned from the 60-day disabled list on 9/21 and started that day vs. Toronto, earning his 13th win in a 5-2Yankees victory (5.1IP, 5H, 1ER, 0BB, 4K)…made his ﬁnal start in 9/27 loss at Boston (1.2IP, 7H, 7R/5ER, 2BB, 2K)... Made ﬁve oﬃcial spring training appearances (three starts) for the Yankees, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA (21.0IP,5ER)…earned the "James P. Dawson Award" as the Yankees' top rookie in spring training, as voted on by theclub's beat writers…led Yankees pitchers with 26 strikeouts (3BB, 15H).
Went 24-0 with one save and a 1.27 ERA (212.0IP, 30ER) and 183K in 28 games (27 starts) with Rakuten… tossed eight complete games and two shutouts… led NPB in wins and ERA, setting an NPB record in victories. Earned the Pacific League MVP Award, was named to the "Best Nine" and won a Gold Glove Award. Was his third straight season with an ERA under 2.00… his 1.27 ERA was the thirdlowest in Pacific League history (fractionally higher than his ERA in 2011) and the sixth-lowest in NPB history. Earned the Sawamura Award as NPB's best pitcher at the conclusion of the season… was named "Pitcher of the Month" five times (May-September). Set a Rakuten club record for most consecutive wins to start the season with his ninth victory on 6/16… set an NPB record with his 16th straight win to open the season on 8/9… on 9/13 vs. the Orix Buffaloes, won his NPB-record 21st straight decision. Went 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA (19.0IP, 5ER) in three games (two starts) with 21K and 4BB in the Japan Series vs. the Yomiuri Giants… was given the honor of throwing the final pitches in Game 7 of the best-of-seven series, earning the save as Rakuten won its first title in franchise history. Prior to the season, pitched for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, allowing 2ER in 7.0IP over four appearances (one start)… recorded 12K without walking a batter.