Masahiro Tanaka expected to rejoin Yankees next week

5 Comments

Masahiro Tanaka’s status was in question after he struggled in his second minor league rehab start, but he’s suddenly expected to rejoin the Yankees next week.

Tanaka has been sidelined since April 23 due to a right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis. After tossing three scoreless innings in his first minor league rehab start with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre last Thursday, he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over three innings in his second rehab start yesterday.

Tanaka will fly out west tonight to meet up with the team before an official decision is made, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that he’ll likely be activated to start next Tuesday or Wednesday against the Mariners in Seattle. He only got stretched out to 61 pitches yesterday, so the expectation is that he’ll be limited to around 80 pitches for his first start back.

Amid constant speculation about the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Tanaka posted a 3.22 ERA with 24 strikeouts and seven walks in 22 1/3 innings over his first four starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list. Those questions likely aren’t going away.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

Getty Images
1 Comment

Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.