Tanaka Time in the Bronx
Masahiro Tanaka will cross off the final American League opponent off his list tonight as the Yankees host the Royals in the second game of a four-game set at Yankee Stadium. The defending World Series champions are the only team that Tanaka has not faced in his three-year big league career.
Tanaka is one of four pitchers in the Majors to allow two earned runs or fewer in each of their first six starts. Some runs would be very welcome for the right-hander: despite his terrific beginning to the season, he’s just got one victory because the Yanks have averaged 2.5 runs per game in his outings.
“The good thing is, we’re not talking about that (elbow ligament),” manager Joe Girardi said. “This will be a little bit of a test, though, because we’re into a lot of days in a row where he’s going to be on every fifth day, but he’s seemed to handle it. He feels good, and he’s pitching extremely well. We just need to keep it there.”
This is the first big league start for Ben Gamel, who is batting ninth and playing right field.
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) May 10, 2016
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 10, 2016
Mark Teixeira is the latest star player to appear on the team’s injury report, as the switch-hitter could miss the next two games as he deals with neck spasms, manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday.
Teixeira is just 1-for-15 on the Yankees’ current homestand after going hitless in New York’s 6-3 victory over the Royals on Monday, and Girardi said that he has been battling the issue for some time. Teixeira did not take pre-game batting practice on Tuesday as he received treatment.
He is batting .202 (21-for-104) with three homers, 11 RBIs and 19 walks in 30 games.
“Your neck is fairly important in a swing, because you have to be able to turn your head and sometimes players can’t work the way they want to work because they’re dealing with some stuff,” Girardi said. “I think he’s been patient. I don’t think he’s gotten fully on track this year but I think he will.”
The injury is the latest in a rash that has seen Jacoby Ellsbury not starting for a fourth straight game due to tightness in his right hip, sustained on an aggressive turn around third base.
If Ellsbury is not able to resume sprinting at full speed by the end of the Kansas City series, Girardi said that Ellsbury could be placed on the disabled list retroactively.
The Yankees also remain optimistic that Alex Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) can return from his 15-day disabled list stint in the minimum amount of time. Rodriguez has run on a treadmill but not yet on grass.
Take away Tanaka’s 2.29 ERA, and the rest of the Yankees rotation has posted a 5.03 ERA (76 ER, 136 IP) so far this season.
With his two homers Monday, Carlos Beltran is now just two homers shy of 400 for his career. Teixeira is at 397 career homers. The only switch-hitters to have reached 400 career homers are Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504), and Chipper Jones (468).
ON THIS DATE
1936: Joe DiMaggio hits his first Major League homer (off George Turbeville) in the Yankees’ 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia A’s.