When the Yankees set their rotation for the final few weeks of the first half, it was basically decided that Masahiro Tanaka would not pitch in the All-Star game. Now that he’s on the disabled list with a partially torn UCL, he won’t even attend the event.
“He decided that he wants to treat his arm and try to get ready,” manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees announced today that Tanaka has decided to skip the festivities in Minneapolis. He could have attended as an injured player, but he will focus on his rehab work. Although Tanaka was overwhelmingly chosen for the game — he had more votes on the players’ ballot than any other starting pitcher — he would not have pitched in the game had he stayed on schedule and started tomorrow’s final game before the break.
Tanaka had said he was still planning to attend before the injury.
“I think it’s really unfortunate because he had a great first half and he’s not able to be a part of it,” Girardi said. “But for some reason, I think he’s going to get a chance to be a part of another one.”
• Michael Pineda threw a 25-pitch bullpen yesterday. He also threw some breaking balls off flat ground. It apparently went well. “No news is good news,” Girardi said. “I didn’t get any bad news today, so that’s good news.”
• Still no starting pitcher set for tomorrow’s game, but Chase Whitley remains the best bet as long as he’s not needed tonight. “It seems like the logical choice,” Girardi said.
• Jeff Francis officially reported this afternoon and has joined the Yankees bullpen. To make room on the roster, Matt Daley was sent back to Triple-A. “There’s high expectations here and I expect to fill a role that they got me in here to do,” Francis said. “I’m ready to pitch in whatever way they need me to.”
• How exactly are the Yankees planning to use Francis? He’s basically a less-stretched-out version of David Huff. “Right now he’s probably a two-inning guy and another left-hander,” Girardi said. “Maybe he gets stretched out during some games for us. That’s not really what you want, but maybe it happens. It’s just another guy that can give you multiple innings.”
• Girardi said he might use Francis for more than 35-40 pitches, but not much more. “It’s just unfair to him,” Girardi said.
• If you’re keeping track, the Yankees now have three lefties in their bullpen.
• No post-break rotation to report. Girardi said he expects to announce a Friday starter at some point tomorrow. “We’ve started to talk about it,” he said. “To me, I’m more worried about today than next Friday.”
• A lot to like about Shane Greene’s first big league start. Yankees looking for more of the same this afternoon. “He attacked the zone,” Girardi said. “He had a very good sinker that day and used his other pitches effectively but the other thing is that with the movement on his fastball, they didn’t square up many balls. I think Swish is the only one who squared one up in six innings.”
Associated Press photos