Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the DL at the end of April with tendinitis in his wrist. The MRI was clean and, at the time, it was said that there was no timetable to return to New York’s rotation. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that it would be at least a month, “conservatively.”
Today, it seems, Tanaka has started the road back, with Jamal Collier of MLB.com reporting that he threw today for the first time since landing on DL. Tanaka made 50 throws at 60 feet, presumably from flat ground.
The Yankees have been playing some good baseball despite the absence of their Opening Day starter and they currently sit atop the A.L. East, two games ahead of the Rays.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.