Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Forearm strain, wrist tendinitis lands Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka on DL

The New York Yankees announced starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right wrist and a “very mild” forearm strain after taking an MRI this evening. Tanaka is "conservatively" out for one month according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman via multiple reporters including Newsday's Brian Heyman.

Masahiro Tanaka
Photo credit: Keith Allison via Flickr
Cashman met with the media during Tuesday’s game and then was interviewed live on the YES Network. Cashman said the issue is minor, but the club with take it slow with their prized pitcher considering his partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Cashman did say that there was no change in Tanaka’s elbow.

Tanaka said he felt the pain Monday morning after Sunday’s bullpen session according to YES Network reporter Meredith Marakovits. He felt it again during his session today and told trainer Steve Donahue which led to the tests. Marakovits noted that Tanaka felt as though he would be fine once the time passes and did not think this was related to his elbow. She also mentioned that Tanaka was reserved with his words when describing the injury.

Tuesday night’s starter Chase Whitley will stay up with the club, and Gregorio Petit, who was optioned earlier in the day to make room for Whitley will be brought back up tomorrow.
This is obviously a big blow for the Yankees rotation. Earlier today, I suggested that the rotation as a whole would need to begin to last longer in games and Tanaka was one of the keys to making that happen.

The good news is that Whitley has plenty of experience after spending most of the first part of last season with the Yankees and Chris Capuano is beginning his rehab assignment soon so if Whitley cannot give the team the performance required to stay in the rotation, the lefty veteran could step in. Ivan Nova is also due back in June as he continues to rehab from his Tommy John surgery. The Yankees also have Bryan Mitchell in the minors if all else fails or if there is another injury in the meantime.

Hopefully this injury is not a precursor to more issues with Tanaka and his elbow. It is too hard to tell at this time and to speculate beyond what we’ve been told is not prudent. Everyone will have to take a wait and see approach as Tanaka hits the shelf. The Yankees will have to buckle down and survive at least one month without their star pitcher.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a correspondent for FantasyPros, where he writes a weekly column covering the closer/bullpen situations around Major League Baseball. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.


  1. The reason Miller has 8 saves this early and Mo didn't is because of the offense, not the starting pitching. The offense is keeping all games close because they don't score a lot of runs and therefore there are not any big spreads in the score, so they have to use the top guys every night. Even if the starters go 7 plus innings, they still have to use Betances and Miller because the score is so close

  2. Thanks for the comment. The Yankees rank fifth in total runs scored so the offense is doing just fine. I wasn't commenting on the number of save opportunities, but rather the fact that the Yankees have used their bullpen more than just about every team in the league. It's a trend that needs to change before the relievers are overworked.

  3. I guess what I am comparing this to is in other years there were more blowouts or games where you didn't need to use your top guys every game. No matter where they rank in runs scored, the majority of games are close and they need to use the top guys every day. With that being said it would be nice to have the starters go a little longer, but all the games are still close. So if all the games are 3-2 or 4-3 and the starters go 7, you still use the top guys to pitch 2 innings instead of 3.5 to 4 innings, but it is still every game. Brian did a great job of deepening the pen with strike out relievers that throw 95

  4. To your point about the bullpen depth, if starters are going seven, then Girardi can mix and match more with the extra talent and Betances/Miller would not have to go five times a week. I think the offense will have its fair share of blowouts and balance out these one/two run games.