Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returns to Japan with his family over coronavirus concerns in the U.S.

Tribune Content Agency

TAMPA, Fla. — Saying that he felt that the situation with the coronavirus pandemic was dangerous in the United States, Masahiro Tanaka returned to Japan late last month, according to Kyodo News.

The 31-year-old right-hander said he and his family had no symptoms of COVID-19, but he felt it best for his wife and their two children to return to Japan.

Tanaka said he and his family would self-quarantine at home for two weeks at the Japanese government’s request for all residents returning from foreign travel.

Tanaka tweeted about his decision.

“After spring training was discontinued, there was a situation where I was in danger besides the coronavirus infection while staying in Florida,” Tanaka said, according to Kyodo News. “I have decided to return home temporarily with deep caution.

“We are currently self-quarantined at home for two weeks, as requested by the Japanese government.

“As a person (who) traveled from (a) foreign country, I will continue to take responsible actions.”

Tanaka had initially stayed after MLB shut down spring training. He threw several bullpens at the Yankees closed spring training complex before making the decision to leave. Hillsborough County, where George M. Steinbrenner Field is located was under a “Safer-At-Home,” order for the past two weeks, before the state issued a Stay at Home order. About a dozen players have remained in Florida and continued to do individualized and staggered workouts at the stadium.

MLB pushed back the start of the regular season at least eight weeks and the majority of the Yankees pitchers are working out on their own at home. On Wednesday, Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said he wasn’t keeping close tabs on Tanaka, a veteran who usually dictates his own preparations.


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