TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The New York Yankees are heading uphill, literally.

The Yankees are utilizing a hill built during the offseason on a back field at Steinbrenner Field as a new conditioning tool.

Players have dubbed it ''Mount Krause'' in honor of Yankees director of strength and conditioning Matt Krause.

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''I just call it the hill,'' Krause said Sunday after the Yankees' third spring training workout. ''It's a 30-yard incline at about nine degrees. So, over the 30 yards it's going to be roughly about 10 feet high from the base to the top.''

Krause brought the idea with him when he left the Cincinnati Reds and joined the Yankees for the 2014 season.

''It's just something that stuck in my head,'' Krause said. ''It's just another thing that helps guys to work hard. Not better than anything else we have. Wanted to increase guys using their lower halves.''

Krause said with a smile that ''everybody was extremely happy'' about taking the hill.

Krause's plan was met with approval from Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has no concerns about potential injuries.

''It's something that Matt Krause really believes in and I support it,'' Girardi said. ''To me, you can argue that he was the greatest running back of all time and that's how he trained: Walter Payton trained on a hill.''

''I don't think they're doing things that are dangerous,'' Girardi added. ''It's not like we're skiing down it. I suggested we put snow on it one day and going sledding, but I don't think I'm going to win.''

Yankees catcher Brian McCann liked it.

''A couple times I did (make it to the top),'' McCann said with a smile. ''It's a good idea. We got a good workout. Awesome for your legs and low back.''

Reliever Dellin Betances called it ''pretty cool, something different.''

TANAKA TIME

Masahiro Tanaka threw long toss and made 20 throws from 60 feet on level ground in preparation for his third mound session on Monday.

The Japanese right-hander is coming back from an arthroscopic procedure to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

Tanaka was 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts last year and lost the wild-card game. 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.

Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are scheduled to throw with Tanaka.