Yankees putative ace Masahiro Tanaka was lit up last night, surrendering seven runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds innings to the Orioles.
Such results are not exactly new for Tanaka in 2017, unfortunately. Indeed, this was the fourth time this season that Tanaka has given up six or more and at the moment he’s sitting at 5-5 with a 6.34 ERA in 11 starts. He’s given up 14 homers as well.
As the season began, the question facing the Yankees rotation was whether anyone besides Tanaka could be depended upon. Now he’s the weak link of a staff that has helped the first place Yankees go 30-20 in the early going. What gives? Is he hurt? Tanaka says no. Manager Joe Girardi says no as well, noting that Tanaka was sharp in his last start, dominating the Oakland A’s on May 26. If he was hurt, Girardi says, he’d be getting lit up all the time. This is merely wild inconsistency.
Pitchers do have ups and downs from time to time. It’s just that, until now, Tanaka’s hallmark has been his consistency. Now that’s gone and everyone is scratching their heads.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna recently revealed that he has been dealing with an anxiety issue, Rob Longley of the Toronto Star reports. Osuna specified that the issue is completely off the field, not on the field. He is not sure when he’ll be able to return to pitch again.
Osuna had been feeling “a little bit anxious, a little bit weird” and said, “I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now.” Despite the anxiety, Osuna volunteered to pitch during Friday’s loss to the Royals, but the Blue Jays smartly chose not to put him into the game.
Osuna said, “I wish I knew how to get out of here and how to get out of this. We’re working on it. We’re trying to find ways to see what can make me feel better. But to be honest I just don’t know.”
It must have been tough for Osuna to make his issue public, as there is still a stigma around dealing with mental issues. Given the prominent position he holds in the Jays’ bullpen, fans become even less empathetic about taking time off to deal with it as well. Hopefully, Osuna is able to use the time off to get the help he needs. And hopefully his going public helps motivate other people dealing with mental issues to seek help for themselves.
The 22-year-old recently became the youngest player in major league history to reach 75 career saves. This season, Osuna is carrying a 2.48 ERA with 19 saves and a 37/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.
Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.