This Opening Day starter news is fairly low level stuff, but at least it’s positive. The injury news is equally low-level, and that’s kind of depressing so, yay for Opening Day starter news!
The latest: the Braves, who announced that Derek Lowe will get the nod. Which just shows that Fredi Gonzalez is more Bobby Cox than even Bobby Cox was. I mean, it’s probably the case that Tommy Hanson will be the best pitcher in the rotation this year, but in Atlanta, the established veteran gets the nod, always. In fact, the last time the Braves’ Opening Day starter was not in his age-30 season or older was when Greg Maddux took the hill to kick of 1995 at the tender age of 29.
Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.
Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.
Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.