Hold Your Breath, Yankee Fans

by Jason Epstein

Via George King of the New York Post, Masahiro Tanaka is leaving the Yankees to return to New York for a MRI on his right arm:

Tanaka had his worst start as a major leaguer Tuesday night in Cleveland, allowing 10 hits and five runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Indians. Tanaka was scheduled to start Sunday in Baltimore — his final start before the All-Star break. He is 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in his past four starts.

After the game, Tanaka said he “didn’t feel that bad” and thought location was his bigger issue.

“I think a lot of it had to do with command of my pitches,” he said. “I feel a lot of my pitches were right down the middle and pretty easy for the batters to hit.”

But on Wednesday there was enough concern for the Yankees to send the 25-year-old for the test.

On MLB Network this afternoon, King’s colleague, Joel Sherman, pointed out how much the Yankees, treading water in the standings at 45–44, rely on the 25-year-old import deep in games:

The Yankees have gotten from starting pitchers this year 33 outs after the seventh inning. He’s gotten 25 of them. I mean, nobody else gets outs late in games.

More here.

UPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Tanaka has been put on the disabled list.

Right Field

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