Masahiro Tanaka heading for DL, expected to miss one month

NEW YORK — Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 strain of his right forearm and tendinitis in his right wrist, general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.

Cashman said that Tanaka had an MRI on Tuesday afternoon that revealed the slight strain. The examination showed no significant changes to Tanaka’s right elbow, but Cashman said that it is likely to take a month for Tanaka to return to the big league rotation.

“Let’s conservatively just throw a month out there until we get him back in the rotation,” Cashman said. “It could be sooner, but he’s a starter. You’ve got to build him back up; you shut him down. At the very least, seven to 10 days of no throwing, and that’s the least, so it could be more. When he feels better, we’ll get him going.”

Tanaka said that he first experienced tenderness in his wrist earlier this week, one day after throwing a bullpen session on Sunday. Tanaka reported the discomfort to the Yankees’ training staff when he reported to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

“Nothing really big came out from the MRI or anything, so I feel that I can come back strong,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.

Tanaka is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts this season. Last July, Tanaka sustained a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament which he rehabbed on the advice of four specialists.

He returned to make two starts in September and then went through the offseason and Spring Training as a healthy player in the Yankees’ estimation. Tanaka said that he does not believe his current injury represents a precursor to Tommy John surgery.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow, so that’s something that’s out of the question for me,” Tanaka said.

Cashman said that the Yankees have “absolutely no regret” about their handling of Tanaka following last summer’s ligament tear because they followed medical directives in rehabbing Tanaka instead of opting for surgery.

“I can’t remember any time we’ve ever gone against doctors’ orders. Why would we?” Cashman said. “They’re the experts. We follow what they prescribe.”

Cashman said that Michael Pineda will likely start on Wednesday against Tampa Bay. Chase Whitley started Tuesday and is expected to remain in the rotation, and the Yankees plan to recall infielder Gregorio Petit, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday to create room for Whitley.

2 Comments

Lots of big money spent on this guy. Doesn’t look very promising.

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Less than a month into the season and he’s down. Future looks quite cloudy.

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