Friday, July 11, 2014

Tanaka Won't Go to the John. Maybe He Should.

Not only is The One Yankee Who Still Gives Us Hope, Masahiro Tanaka, on the Disabled List with an elbow ligament tear, but he's been given a choice: A rehab that might allow him to pitch again in 6 weeks, or Tommy John surgery, which would put him out for the rest of 2014 and, at least, the 1st half of 2015.

Lots of baseball pundits are saying Tanaka should be sure, and get the surgery. Maybe he should "go to the John."

The thing is, if that happens, and Brian Cashman doesn't make any good deals in the meantime (a pretty safe bet), then the Yankees can start looking toward April 2016 for any hope for progress.

You know, like the Mets.


David Phelps started the series finale in Cleveland last night, and I was sure that the Yankees would lose.

Well, it wasn't Phelps' fault. He pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. A decent start.

And the offense had been doing its job: Zelous Wheeler hit a home run (his 2nd), for 2 runs, and Yangervis Solarte singled home another run. When Phelps was relieved for the bottom of the 7th, the Yankees led 3-2.

Hard to believe, but leaving Phelps in might have been a good idea. The bullpen blew it. Between them, Matt Thornton and the newly-acquired Jim Miller allowed 4 runs in the 7th, and Miller allowed 3 more in the 8th.

Indians 9, Yankees 3. WP: Carlos Carrasco (2-3). No save. LP: Thornton (0-3), who really is in a gots-to-go situation. Bury him at Scranton.


Cashman has made another trade, getting pitcher Jeff Francis from the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named later.

A 33-year-old lefthander from Vancouver, Francis has been in the majors since 2004, with the Colorado Rockies, the Kansas City Royals, the Rockies again, and has already pitched for both the Cincinnati Reds and the A's this season. He's 70-80 in his career, mostly as a starter, with a career ERA+ of 94. He went 17-9 for the Pennant-winning 2007 Rockies, but hasn't topped 6 wins in a season since. Not exactly inspiring.

In addition, Miller, following last night's debacle, was designated for assignment, and brought reliever Matt Daley back up from the minors.

Tonight, the Yankees begin their last series before the All-Star Break, 3 games in Baltimore. Here are the projected pitching matchups:

Tonight, 7:05: Hiroki Kuroda vs. Miguel Gonzalez.

Tomorrow, 4:05: Shane Greene vs. Chris Tillman.

Sunday, 8:05: Girardi has not yet selected as starter, and our old friend Buck Showalter has selected Kevin Gausman.

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