According to a report by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Masahiro Tanaka could miss this year's All-Star Game. Even if named the starter to the 2014 AL squad, Sherman reported that there is a good chance Tanaka would not appear in the game.
The Yankees are in position to have Tanaka's last appearance before the All-Star break be on Sunday July 13. That is the last day of the first half and would mean Tanaka would have to pitch on one day of rest, as the All-Star Game is on Tuesday July 15. According to Sherman, the Yankees could skip Vidal Nuno in the rotation due to an off day on Thursday and have Tanaka start the first game of a three game set on Friday against Boston. Such a move would give Tanaka the needed rest to make an appearance in the All-Star Game.
Instead the Yankees have elected to stay in rotation and have Nuno start the first game against the Red Sox in the Bronx. Although Nuno has the worst home ERA (7.09) in the majors and the has given up the most homers at home (13), the Yankees have decided to have Nuno draw the start. This means that Tanaka will start on July 3 at Minnesota, July 8 at Cleveland and July 13 at Baltimore.
According to Sherman, only two pitchers in the past 20 years have pitched on the Sunday before the All-Star Game and pitched on Tuesday in the All-Star Game. Randy Johnson did it in 2000 and Brad Penny again in 2006, Sherman feels that the Yankees would not risk the rest of the season by having Tanaka pitch on such short rest. Of course it is a possibility that the Yankees could allow Tanaka to throw a limited pitch count, around 15 or so pitches in the Mid-Summer Classic. Although it's a possibility, Sherman reported that if they didn't skip Nuno, the Yankees most likely will not have Tanaka pitch in the All-Star Game.
Yankees GM, Brian Cashman told Sherman that the Yankees never considered the fact that Tanaka could miss the All-Star Game by keeping the rotation in line. "It never came up," Cashman said. "The only thing that has ever come up (with Tanaka) is giving an extra day of rest whenever possible. If we can do it, we want to do that."
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