Results tagged ‘ Masahiro Tanaka ’

“Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not much.”

Masahiro TanakaThere was disappointment in Masahiro Tanaka‘s eyes on Wednesday morning, according to manager Joe Girardi, one day after the right-hander learned that he will miss at least a month with a strained right forearm and tendinitis in his right wrist.

For the moment, the Yankees believe that Tanaka’s current injury does not represent a precursor to Tommy John surgery, but they recognize that possibility. Tanaka will refrain from throwing for seven to 10 days and is not expected to travel with the team.

“Any time you have to shut a pitcher down, there’s concern,” Girardi said. “With what happened last year, I can’t tell you if they’re related or not, but you’re going to think about it. You’re going to think about a lot of different scenarios. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not much, but we’ll deal with it either way.”

The Yankees plan to keep right-hander Chase Whitley in rotation, coming off a season debut in which he held the Rays to a run over five innings and picked up the win in a 4-2 victory. To replace Tanaka on the active roster, infielder Gregorio Petit was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“It’s going to be tough,” Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia said. “It’s going to be up to us to pick up the slack. Hopefully he comes back healthy and ready to pitch.”

There could be additional help on the horizon. New York also has left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Ivan Nova rehabbing and aiming to rejoin the club in late May and early June, respectively. By that time, Tanaka could be back on the big league mound, but perhaps not.

“The one thing I’ve tried to stress to our starters is, don’t try to make up for someone else’s absence,” Girardi said. “Just do what you can do.”


Tanaka’s injury has prompted commentary that the Yankees should have dispatched the hurler to have Tommy John surgery after sustaining a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament last July 8 in Cleveland.

Following that injury, Tanaka was examined by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad, Los Angeles Dodgers team doctor Neal elAttrache and Mets team physician David Altchek. His results were also sent to noted specialist James Andrews for consultation, and all four doctors recommended the Yankees should rehabilitate Tanaka’s injury using platelet-rich plasma injections rather than rush into surgery.

“I am a manager. I am not a doctor, so I don’t understand the mechanics of all that,” Girardi said. “As I said yesterday, there’s going to be speculation. Are they related? I can’t tell you that. I don’t know; could be, it may not be. It could just be something came up from his bullpen. Who knows? The thing is, we’ve got to deal with it, and we will.”


Petit walked back into the Yankees’ clubhouse Wednesday morning, his equipment bag slung over his shoulder, and said that he never quite made it to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Petit said he spent most of Tuesday on his couch and would have packed up to meet the RailRiders on Wednesday before Tanaka’s injury put him back on the roster.


Brett Gardner and Brian McCann got the day off Wednesday against left-hander Drew Smyly. Girardi said the only pitcher in his bullpen that he’d probably stay away from is Esmil Rogers, who pitched 2 2/3 innings last night.


Girardi said that he wouldn’t mind if Alex Rodriguez hit homer No. 660 this afternoon rather than bringing some extra drama to the weekend series at Fenway Park.

“It just might crowd our clubhouse a little bit more if he doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter either way,” Girardi said. “I’d prefer that he does it with two or three guys on today and gets it over with.”

Jacoby Ellsbury out of lineup; Chase Whitley preparing to start Tuesday

Jacoby Ellsbury spent Sunday afternoon receiving treatment on his tight right hip and will watch the final game of the Subway Series from the bench, as manager Joe Girardi hopes to have the centerfielder’s services on Monday against the Rays.

“He was better. He was going to try today, he went through treatment and he was getting loose, and I just said, ‘You know what? I was going to give you a day off one of these next few days anyway, the next four,'” Girardi said. “I think it’s kind of silly if he would have to leave in the middle of the game so shut him down.”

Ellsbury went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Mets and made a highlight reel catch in the fourth inning, charging to the gap in left-center field for a sliding grab near the warning track that robbed Eric Campbell of an extra-base hit.

“His hip got a little tight yesterday,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if it’s from one of his sliding catches that he irritated it on, but I just decided, let’s give him today and I’ll give him about 48 hours to see if he could play tomorrow.”


Chase WhitleyChase Whitley is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start on Tuesday as the Yankees will incorporate a sixth starter to their rotation, part of a strategy in navigating a stretch that sees them play 30 games in 31 days.

Girardi said that the team is planning on having Adam Warren start on Monday against the Rays and then will summon the 25-year-old Whitley for Tuesday’s game, giving Masahiro Tanaka an extra day before he takes the ball on Wednesday.

“Now, could something happen to change that? Yes,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what it would be, but those are our intentions.”

Whitley had a strong spring but was sent to the Minors so he could continue starting, allowing him to be stretched out for this opportunity. In three starts for the RailRiders, Whitley is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, allowing 13 hits, six walks and 13 strikeouts in 17 innings.



Girardi’s take on Stephen Drew‘s season so far: “From the plate, he’s been productive and he’s had some really big hits for us during the course of the season. I look up and I’m shocked when I see what he’s hitting (.176), because I think he has swung the bat a lot better than that. I think those numbers will continue to go up as time goes on because I think his at-bats have been pretty good.”


Could Alex Rodriguez be pressing as he sits two homers shy of tying Willie Mays on the all-time home run list?

“I haven’t sensed it. I thought he hit some balls really well in Detroit,” Girardi said. “It’s not the easiest park to hit balls out in. Trying to pick left-center and center is probably not a good idea there. I haven’t sensed it yet, but if it was, I’d sit down and talk to him.”


Some numbers from the Yankees’ media relations crew: Mark Teixeira leads the Majors in Isolated Power (.475), is second with eight homers and tied for second with 18 RBIs.… with 12 extra-base hits, holds the AL lead and is third in the Majors… with a .729 SLG, is fourth in the AL and fifth in the Majors… with a 1.085 OPS, is fifth in the AL and eighth in the Majors.

Of his 15 hits this season, 12 have gone for extra bases (4 doubles, 8 homers) … 11 of his first 12 hits this season were extra-base hits, joining Adam Dunn (6 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers for the Reds in 2005) as the only Major Leaguers since 1900 to have at least 11 of their first 12 hits go for extra bases, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Brendan Ryan (calf strain) is scheduled to begin playing Extended Spring Training games next week, Girardi said.

A-Rod carrying the Yankees’ lineup

Yankees Rays BaseballComing off last night’s two-homer, four-RBI performance, Alex Rodriguez has been promoted to the No. 3 spot in the Yankees lineup as they play the middle game of a three-game set tonight at Tropicana Field.

Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 7.00 ERA) is on the mound for New York, with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (2-0, 0.61 ERA) getting the call for Tampa Bay. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and can be heard on WFAN.

Here are the quick hits you need to know:

  • Here’s a great stat that showcases just how good A-Rod’s first 10 games have been: He is batting .344 (11-for-32 AB) with four homers and 11 RBIs. The rest of the Yankees are hitting a combined .209 (67-for-320).
  • Rodriguez’s response: “Let’s see if you can do this for six months. Anyone can do it for 10 games. Let’s just see what happens.”
  • Brett Gardner (right wrist) returns to the lineup to make his first start since Monday. Joe Girardi said that he’ll watch Gardner closely on check-swings and swings and misses, but Gardner would have batted last night if his spot had come up. 
  • Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup with chest congestion, and Joe Girardi isn’t sure if Beltran will be available Sunday either. Apparently there has been a bad cold going around the clubhouse; first-base coach Tony Pena has gotten hit worse than anyone. I’m buying some Emergen-C on my way back to the hotel tonight.
  • Reverse split alert: Because Odorizzi is a rare right-hander who is tougher on left-handed hitters, Didi Gregorius is getting the night off. Gregorio Petit is making the start at second base, with Stephen Drew handling the duties at shortstop. Chris Young takes over in right field.
  • Brian McCann is batting .500 (5-for-10) with two homers lifetime vs. Odorizzi.
  • Chris Capuano was in the clubhouse this afternoon and will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session tomorrow. His target date is probably late May, with Ivan Nova right behind him. Girardi confirmed that the Yankees plan to stretch Capuano and Nova out as starters.
  • The Yankees came into today tied with the Orioles for the most homers in the Majors this season, with 16.
  • A-Rod thought it was hilarious that people on social media keep talking about the white gunk on top of his helmet. It’s just rosin, he says.
  • We hardly knew you, Matt Tracy. He was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins this afternoon. In addition, Joel De La Cruz was outrighted off the Major League roster and onto the roster of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Here are the lineups… first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET:

Masahiro TanakaYANKEES (4-6)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Mark Teixeira 1b
Brian McCann c
Chris Young rf
Chase Headley 3b
Stephen Drew ss
Gregorio Petit 2b

Masahiro Tanaka rhp

RAYS (6-5)
David DeJesus dh
Stephen Souza Jr. rf
Asdrubal Cabrera ss
Evan Longoria 3b
Desmond Jennings cf
Allan Dykstra 1b
Logan Forsythe 2b
Brandon Guyer lf
Rene Rivera c

Jake Odorizzi rhp

Game 6: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Masahiro TanakaThe Yankees wrap up their season-opening homestand tonight as Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound for his second start of the year. Clay Buchholz is on the hill for the Red Sox, who are trying to sweep the Yankees in the Bronx for the first time since 2011. The Yankees come into the evening having led in just one of their 55 innings this year, a quite alarming statistic indeed.

“I think it’s an important game,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You don’t want to start the season 1-5, be 1-5 on your home field where your club is supposed to be built around, and 1-5 in your division. You don’t want those things. It’s really important. I don’t know if after 162 games you’ll look back and say, this is the most important game of the year, but I think it’s important.”

Here’s what you need to know from the Yankees’ clubhouse:

  • Here yesterday, gone today. Matt Tracy was DFAed to make room for Kyle Davies.

    Here yesterday, gone today. Matt Tracy was DFAed to make room for Kyle Davies.

    The Yankees made a roster move this afternoon, summoning right-hander Kyle Davies from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Davies, 31, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2011, when he was with the Royals. He’ll serve as the long man while he’s here. Left-hander Matt Tracy, who made his big league debut yesterday, was designated for assignment.

  • There will be plenty of attention on Tanaka’s radar gun readings, but it’s worth noting again that his average fastball speed was 90.3 mph on Opening Day, while he topped out at 93 mph. That represents only a slight drop-off for Tanaka, whose average fastball velocity was 90.8 mph in 2014. More notable is that he threw just 27 fastballs of his 82 pitches. He’s ready to approach 100 pitches tonight.
  • Girardi on what to watch for from Tanaka: “I think the key is strikes with his offspeed, and using his fastball effectively. That’s the key with him, and that’s been the key since he’s been here. That’s what you look for.”
  • Several of the Yankees were out early this afternoon working on bunt drills. Didi Gregorius seemed to be especially active, and Girardi said that there are certain times where they’d like to bunt against the shift. Couldn’t hurt; the Yanks are hitting .193 as a team through five games.
  • The Yanks need to clean up their act defensively. They lead the Majors with eight errors through five games, including three yesterday vs. Boston.
  • Mike Napoli homered off Tanaka twice in six at-bats last year — including the “What an idiot!” homer here, which I suspect is one of the reasons Tanaka wanted to shelve his four-seamer — but Napoli is hitless in 17 at-bats to start the season.
  • After tonight, the Yankees play 25 of their next 35 games on the road. That’s a good reminder to pack my suitcase. Good thing we did the laundry this morning.

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (4-1)
Mookie Betts cf
Dustin Pedroia 2b
David Ortiz dh
Hanley Ramirez lf
Pablo Sandoval 3b
Mike Napoli 1b
Shane Victorino rf
Xander Bogaerts ss
Ryan Hanigan c

Clay Buchholz rhp

YANKEES (1-4)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Carlos Beltran rf
Mark Teixeira 1b
Brian McCann c
Alex Rodriguez dh
Chase Headley 3b
Stephen Drew 2b
Didi Gregorius ss

Masahiro Tanaka rhp

Winter reset: Projecting the Yankees’ Opening Day roster

The countdown to the Feb. 20 official report date for pitchers and catchers is on, and this is as good as time as any to hit the reset button and look ahead. Over the last several weeks, the Yankees have been busy assembling a roster that promises to be younger and more versatile than last year’s 84-win club.

Beginning with the relatively minor Nov. 12 deal with the Pirates, which swapped left-hander Justin Wilson for catcher Francisco Cervelli, general manager Brian Cashman has triggered six trades and pulled two major free agents off the board in Andrew Miller (four years, $36 million) and Chase Headley (four years, $52 million). It seems like just yesterday that Cashman was standing on the curb of a San Diego hotel, explaining why the Yanks were leaving the Winter Meetings empty-handed.

This week, they’ve also moved close to an agreement with infielder Stephen Drew; that deal is done, pending a physical, and will be worth $5 million plus incentives for the 2015 season.

Drew slots as the Yanks’ starting second baseman, forming a combination up the middle with Didi Gregorius. So much for that spring battle between youngsters Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela, though it would serve them both well to come into Spring Training and play well. Depth could be important at both infield positions.

A lot can happen between now and April 6, something the Yankees know all too well, particularly in the starting rotation. Barring something wild like a push to bring in Max Scherzer, here is an early guess at how the Yankees’ 25-man roster could look on Opening Day:

Masahiro TanakaRotation (5): Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Capuano

No real surprises here, assuming they can all get through the spring without health issues. They’ll have to hold their breath on every Tanaka splitter for a while. Adam Warren is set to come into Spring Training as a starter and could also be considered here. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild floated the idea of a six-man rotation last year and it will be interesting to see if the Yanks kick that around, but for now, these are five solid choices they can go forward with. It’s important to note that Ivan Nova is expected to return from Tommy John surgery in May or June.

Bullpen (7): Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve.

The Yanks believe their closer is already on this roster, so Joe Girardi can have some fun in the spring deciding between Betances and Miller. They could even go with co-closers based upon situations if they wanted, but my best guess right now is that Betances will close and Miller sticks in the setup role. Carpenter slides into Shawn Kelley’s old role and would handle the 6th or 7th innings. Rogers is a solid swingman option, while Wilson and Shreve would give the Yanks extra lefties in the pen.

Spring Training is a great time to evaluate bullpen arms, and the Yanks will have plenty of other names to look at. Shreve’s spot is probably the least secure of anyone on that list, and so a brief list of options who could fit here if they don’t begin the year in the Minors include (in no particular order) — Chase Whitley, Dan Burawa, Branden Pinder, Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez, Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow and Gonzalez Germen. Andrew Bailey was also re-signed to a Minor League deal and is trying to regain his old form. 

Catchers (2): Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy.

Murphy will have to hold off Austin Romine for the backup role; Romine is out of Minor League options and the Yanks would lose him if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, but Murphy has seemed to leapfrog Romine in the organization’s view over the last year or so. Top prospect Gary Sanchez is slated to begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could make his big league debut this year.

Mark Teixeira, Tony RandazzoInfielders (7): Mark Teixeira, Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley, Brendan Ryan, Garrett Jones, Alex Rodriguez.

The starting infield seems set, with Teixeira, Drew, Gregorius and Headley going around the horn. In particular, the Yanks expect that Teixeira will be stronger and more productive as he is further removed from surgery. Drew should fit at second base but gives the Yanks an option at shortstop if Gregorius flounders.

Ryan would be the 25th man on the roster. He provides a backup pretty much everywhere, assuming the Yanks keep him and intend to have Refsnyder and Pirela start the year in Triple-A (their 40-man roster is full and Drew hasn’t yet been added). 

Jones would be Teixeira’s backup at first base, has played some right field and could serve as the DH against right-handed pitching. They love the idea of showcasing his big left-handed power in Yankee Stadium. It’s anyone’s guess what the Yankees will have in A-Rod; they’re going in thinking that any production would be a bonus. At the absolute minimum, you’d hope that Rodriguez can be an effective DH against left-handed pitching (the Yanks think his ’13 struggles vs. lefties were a small-sample size aberration), but it’s not impossible to envision Rodriguez being moderately productive as a full-time DH and even playing a little third base.

Jacoby EllsburyOutfielders (4): Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Chris Young.

The outfield is pretty locked in from left to right, assuming that Beltran’s elbow is healed and he can be more like the player he was in 2013 with the Cardinals. If he’s unable to play right field regularly, it will create major headaches with the DH spot. Young is capable of playing all three outfield spots and, as Ichiro Suzuki discovered over the last two seasons, there can be plenty of at-bats to be found in a role like that — even if it doesn’t appear that way early in the spring.

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