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Yankees' Tanaka impresses again while pitching live batting practice

Masahiro Tanaka pitches batting practice during a morning

Masahiro Tanaka pitches batting practice during a morning workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Leon Halip

Masahiro Tanaka's second live batting practice session drew similar reviews to his first.

"He was great," said the Yankees' Francisco Cervelli, who caught the 35-pitch session Monday morning. "I was trying both sides of the plate with every pitch and he was able to throw every pitch in every count."

Tanaka, watched by a throng of coaches, including manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild, faced the right-handed hitting Zelous Wheeler, the left-handed hitting Dean Anna and the right-handed hitting Scott Sizemore.

"I was definitely impressed," said Sizemore, among those competing for an infield spot. "One, with his command and, two, obviously, with his stuff."

When Austin Romine faced Tanaka in his first live BP session last Friday, a splitter went by and the catcher remarked he had never seen a ball move like that.

The 25-year-old Tanaka only threw a handful of splitters Monday and the reviews were mixed.

"I saw it well," Sizemore said of the one split he got. "It didn't bait me to swing at it but it was kind of down and out of the zone to start so I don't think it was one of his best ones. But if it's like the rest of his stuff I saw it's got to be good."

Anna saw a different caliber of split, calling it "really dirty."

"It's definitely tough to face him for sure with all his pitches and how good they are," Anna said.

Wheeler saw just one split and called it "really nasty."

Cervelli said Tanaka "threw everything," meaning curveball, slider, two and four-seam fastball and, of course, splitter. The catcher joked "I need one more finger" for the signs.

"He looked really good," said Girardi, who watched CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda also throw live BP sessions before Tanaka. "His command was really good of all of his pitches."

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