The Rangers trade for Indians minor leaguer Kelvin De La Cruz

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This isn’t a big trade, but not a lot else is going on:  The Rangers acquired lefty Kelvin De La Cruz from the Indians for cash considerations.

De La Cruz is 23 years-old. He has started all but 12 of his 105 minor league games in the Indians’ system.  He strikes out a fair number of guys but walked six men per nine innings last year in Double-A.

As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out, however, he has been pretty tough on lefties, so he may have a future as a lefty bullpen specialist, so maybe we’ll see him pop up in the Rangers’ bullpen at some point.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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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.