Masahiro Tanaka opts not to attend All-Star Game
Masahiro Tanaka has decided not to attend the July 15 All-Star Game at Target Field, the Yankees announced on Saturday.
Tanaka is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a small tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament, and is scheduled to begin a rehab program that the Yankees hope can get him back on a Major League mound in six weeks.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Tanaka, who issued a statement on Friday apologizing to the Yankees and their fans for the injury, would prefer to skip the trip to Minneapolis and focus on his rehabilitation.
“I think it’s really unfortunate, because he had a great first half and he’s not able to be a part of it,” Girardi said. “But for some reason, I think he’s going to get a chance to be a part of another one.”
Tanaka, 25, was selected as an American League All-Star after going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts. Following the injury, Red Sox manager John Farrell replaced Tanaka on the AL squad with Boston reliever Koji Uehara.
Jeff Francis has appeared in 238 Major League games with four different clubs, but the left-hander has never had an opportunity to pitch in Yankee Stadium, something that the 10-year big league vet is looking forward to.
“It’s probably been said a hundred times over, but that’s a building with a lot of history, even though it’s new,” Francis said. “The team has a lot of history, so it’s something that I’m looking forward to.”
The present, and not the organization’s history, was on the Yankees’ mind when they acquired Francis along with cash considerations from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for a player to be named later.
The Yankees could use help soaking up innings out of the bullpen, where Adam Warren described the squad as “not fresh, obviously, but I wouldn’t say we’re going out there pitching injured.”
Francis had been working as a long reliever with Oakland, where he was 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in nine appearances. He started the year with the Reds, where he made one start.
“Right now he’s probably a two-inning guy and another left-hander,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Maybe he gets stretched out during some games for us. That’s not really what you want, but maybe it happens. It’s just another guy that can give you multiple innings.”
To create room for Francis on the active roster, the Yankees designated right-hander Matt Daley for assignment. Daley was called up on Friday when the Yankees designated right-hander Jim Miller for assignment.
Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is inching back toward game action. Pineda threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Friday at the club’s complex in Tampa, Fla., and reported no issues. His best-case scenario is a big league return in mid-August.