The Yankees have announced that Masahiro Tanaka will be given an extra day of rest, and will pitch on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels.
“Baltimore is really familiar with him, and I don’t think an extra day [of rest] is gonna hurt him,” manager Joe Girardi said, per Dan Martin. “And he can work a little bit more.”
Tanaka’s usual turn in the rotation would have come Sunday, June 11, against Baltimore. But the Yankees opted to give him more time off, rather than face a team that has hit .333 against him so far this season. The righty has been in a bad slump as his player option looms at the end of the season. Tanaka currently sports a bloated 6.55 ERA, and has allowed 17 home runs in 66 innings. Opponents are hitting .298 against him this season.
It is unclear who will make the start on Sunday. Chad Green, who has been performing well as a long reliever, is a candidate to start if the Yankees do not need him in the meantime. He would likely be able to give the team around 65 pitches, and then be optioned to AAA following the game for depth.
Bryan Mitchell is currently scheduled to start today for AAA, but he could be scratched and recalled to pitch Sunday. A more radical move would involve recalling prospect Domingo Germán, who is already on the 40-man roster. Germán struck out 38 batters in 33 innings at AA Trenton before his promotion to AAA. Chance Adams is scheduled to start on Sunday for AAA, but don’t get your hopes up. That move would require too much 40-man roster maneuvering for a simple spot start.
The Yankees must hope that the extra day does something to fix Tanaka’s mechanics and mind. As a team with their eyes on the postseason, they cannot continue to carry an ineffective starter in the rotation. Adams will likely get an opportunity later in the season if Tanaka continues to struggle.