ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand writes that the Yankees are considering moving to a six-man rotation whenever Masahiro Tanaka is activated from the disabled list in September. Not only that, but the Yankees could stick with the six-man rotation in 2015 as well.
Tanaka, who has been sidelined since July 9 with a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow, threw 35 pitches over two innings of batting practice to Zelous Wheeler and Brendan Ryan on Saturday morning. He threw all of his pitches and could throw a simulated game as he takes the next step towards a return.
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild explained the logic behind potentially going to a six-man rotation:
“We have 21 games in 20 days so we are going to have to use six starters at some point,” said Rothschild. “So I think everyone in baseball is going to look for alternative ways to keep guys healthy. If that’s part of what is on the radar, you look at it and consider it.”
Tanaka went on the disabled list as an early candidate for the American League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards, sporting a 12-4 record with a 2.51 ERA and a 135/19 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings across 18 starts.
It’s a slow news day so you get to see a Brendan Ryan single in which he hit the ball twice with the same swing: Wheeeeee!
That’s more contact on this one swing than he’ll usually make in ten.
Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran has been scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Indians after a ball he hit during batting practice bounced up and struck him near the eye.
No further word yet on the severity of the injury, but manager Joe Girardi has shifted Derek Jeter to the DH spot and Brendan Ryan is at shortstop for the newly acquired Brandon McCarthy’s debut.
Beltran has been limited to DH duties due to season-long elbow problems that may require surgery and recently he’s also been dealing with a knee issue. At age 37 he’s hit just .216 with nine homers and a .671 OPS in the first season of a three-year, $45 million deal.
Brendan Ryan was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his back, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger this evening that the plan calls for him to be activated tomorrow. The 32-year-old is expected to take the roster spot of right-hander Michael Pineda, who will be placed on the disabled list with a teres major muscle strain now that his 10-game suspension is over.
Progress for Ryan was slow, but he began a minor league rehab assignment last weekend and hit .320 (8-for-25) with two RBI and a 4/5 K/BB ratio over seven games between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Of course, anything the Yankees get out of him offensively will be considered a bonus, as the .237 hitter is a glove-first player in every sense of the term.
Ryan’s return could present an interesting scenario for the Yankees, as Derek Jeter has struggled both offensively and defensively in the early going. It’s a lot to ask Jeter to be a regular shortstop at this stage of his career, so Ryan figures to play more than the average backup at the very least.