Yankees could push struggling Masahiro Tanaka back a day

Saturday, 10 June 2017, 11:08:37 AM. Yankees manager Joe Girardi left the door open to push Masahiro Tanaka back a day. Scheduled to face the Orioles on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, holding the struggling right-hander back a day and have…

Yankees manager Joe Girardi left the door open to push Masahiro Tanaka back a day.

Scheduled to face the Orioles on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, holding the struggling right-hander back a day and have him open a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday night is a possibility.

Since the Orioles have seen Tanaka twice this season and the Angels haven’t could play a role in Girardi’s thinking. Tanaka is 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA in two starts against the O’s.

“Right now we are on schedule,’’ Girardi said before the Yankees’ 9-1 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at the Stadium.

Of course, that could change. And though Girardi didn’t sound wild about using a reliever such as Chad Green in a starter’s role, that is a possibility.

“A manager has the ability to change his mind. Right now we are on schedule,’’ Girardi said. “I don’t know what will happen. We will continue to talk about it.’’

Tanaka is 5-6 with a 6.55 ERA and has watched his splitter and slider vanish.

“He has been too good for too long and is going through a rough patch,’’ Cashman said. “Everything right now is a struggle.’


Greg Bird (bruised right ankle) moved from Single-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday night when he went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. While being closer to the big leagues is a step, there isn’t a definitive plan to activate the first baseman from the DL.

“I don’t have a time frame for Bird,’’ Cashman said. “He will join us or get optioned.’’


The Red Sox were hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position Thursday night. Yankees pitchers haven’t allowed a hit in the clutch since May 31, a span of 36 at-bats. That’s the longest stretch by a MLB team since Houston hurlers didn’t allow a hit with a runner in scoring position across 39 at-bats in 2015.


Aaron Judge’s single to center in the sixth inning was clocked at 119.8 mph. According to MLB Statcast, that’s the hardest-hit ball in the majors this season.

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Mookie Betts’ cleat hit Didi Gregorius in the chest while the Red Sox outfielder was thrown out attempting to steal second in the first inning. Gregorius went to the ground and after being examined, stayed in the game to go 2-for-4 and extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

Girardi used Austin Romine to hit for Gregorius in the eighth inning to get Romine an at-bat. Girardi has plans to start Romine at some point against the Orioles.


All of Brett Gardner’s 13 homers have come in the past 35 games.


CC Sabathia has been talking to the struggling Tanaka, but the veteran lefty says it hasn’t been a river of advice going from him to the Yankees’ former ace.

“It’s just talking and everybody struggles, this is the big leagues and it won’t be the last time,’’ Sabathia said. “He has to figure out how to get out of it.’’


Aroldis Chapman will travel to Tampa on Friday and could make a minor league rehab appearance this weekend. Earlier this week, the left-handed closer said he was shooting to come off the DL in time to face the A’s in Oakland. The Yankees open a four-game series against the A’s next Thursday.

Chapman has been on the DL with rotator cuff inflammation of the left shoulder.

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