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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.