Tanaka to be disabled for at least a month

The Yankees passed out Masahiro Tanaka bobbleheads to customers Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. That will be the closest to the real thing that Yankees fans will see of the Japanese righthander for at least a month.

Tanaka has a mild strain of the right forearm that will result in his being placed on the 15-day disabled list. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Tanaka would be shut down entirely for seven to 10 days and that the conservative course of action would keep him away from the team for a month.

The pitcher complained of soreness in his right wrist. An MRI revealed tendinitis in the wrist but also the forearm strain. On the positive side was that there was no change in the condition of his right elbow.

Tanaka had been scheduled to start Wednesday’s matinee at the Stadium in the finale of the three-game series against the Rays. Michael Pineda will start on regular rest instead.

Cashman indicated that Chase Whitley, who was called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to start Wednesday night and pitched well (5 IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1K, 1WP) would remain in the rotation. Infielder Gregorio Petit, who had been optioned to SWP to make roster space for Whitley, is likely to return.

Just when the Yankees were making some strides, they suffer this blow. Tanaka was 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and 24 strikeouts in four starts totaling 22 1/3 innings.

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