Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had his worst game of the season Tuesday night. Facing the Indians, the right-hander allowed five runs and 10 hits (two of them home runs) in 6.2 innings. He’s already allowed as many runs in two July starts than he did for five appearances in June.
That led plenty of analysts to speculate that opposing teams were getting a read on Tanaka or that pitching every five days (as opposed to every seven in Japan) might be catching up with him.
After the game, Tanaka told reporters that he was having issues with his command, leaving many pitches in the middle of the strike zone. But nearly 24 hours later, the Yankees are worried enough to send the 25-year-old back to New York for a MRI exam.
The New York Post‘s George King first reported the news. Other insiders checking with their sources learned that Tanaka told the team he was having more than command problems.
Tanaka told the yankees he was feeling a little discomfort following last night’s game. @nypost reports hes getting arm mri
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 9, 2014
Tanaka is scheduled to pitch on Sunday versus the Orioles, but it seems more likely that he’ll be resting his right arm until after the All-Star break.
UPDATE: The Yankees are putting Tanaka on the 15-day disabled list.
Tanaka on DL with elbow inflammation.
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 9, 2014
Outfielder Zoilo Almonte was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Tanaka’s spot on the roster. He’s starting in left field tonight for the Yanks. Brett Gardner is out with an abdominal strain.