Author: D.J. Short

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees works out prior to the Yankees baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 20, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Washington Nationals/Getty Images)

Masahiro Tanaka throws three scoreless innings in minor league rehab start

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Masahiro Tanaka took his first step toward rejoining the Yankees rotation tonight by tossing three scoreless innings in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tanaka, who landed on the disabled list one month ago with a mild right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis, allowed two hits while walking none and striking out a pair. David Lennon of New York Newsday notes that he threw 25 out of 41 pitches for strikes and sat in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball. Perhaps most importantly, he felt good:

The Yankees will likely have Tanaka get stretched out with one or two more rehab starts before activating him.

Amid questions about the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, Tanaka had a 3.22 ERA and 24/7 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings over his first four starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list.

Video: Ryan Howard launches his ninth home run

DENVER, CO - MAY 20:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated in the dugout by Manager Ryne Sandberg of the Philadelphia Phillies after he hit a solo home run during the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 20, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Phillies shopped Ryan Howard all winter and GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said at one point that they’d be better off without him, but the veteran first baseman continues to show that there’s still some life remaining in his bat. Check out this blast against the Rockies today:

Part of the reason I posted this video was to show the kid who caught the home run ball and his celebratory reaction. You have to smile watching that.

Howard took advantage of Coors Field by going deep in each of the last two days and is now up to nine home runs on the year. All nine of his home runs have come since April 21. Only Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton have hit more in the same timespan. That’s some pretty decent company.

Yan Gomes on track to be activated from disabled list Sunday

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Yan Gomes has been sidelined since April 11 due to an MCL sprain in his right knee, but Indians manager Terry Francona told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer today that he’s on track to be activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s game against the Reds.

Gomes was originally expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the injury, so he’s going to be back at the low end of that timetable. The 27-year-old has three hits in nine at-bats with two walks over four minor league rehab games and is gradually being stretched out to nine innings behind the plate.

Gomes batted .284/.325/.476 between 2013-2014, good enough for a 124 OPS+. Getting him back in the lineup and behind the plate is going to be huge for Cleveland.