Masahiro Tanaka who was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday, has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL. The timing of the injury has resulted in Tanaka, who was named to the All-Star team on Sunday, to be replaced on the American League roster. Boston Red Sox closer, Koji Uehara, will take Tanaka's spot on the roster for Tuesday's 85th annual All-Star game in Minnesota.
It was uncertain if Tanaka would have pitched in the game if healthy, but he will not have the opportunity to do so, after it was revealed yesterday that he is suffering from inflammation in his elbow. Tanaka had been arguably the best pitcher in the American League this season, going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in his first 18 starts in the Major Leagues. Tanaka came in to this season, his first in the Majors, with a 24-0 record last season in the Japanese Pacific League while pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Combining Tanakas' regular and post-season record, he compiled a 30-0 record last season in Japan.
Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell, made the announcement yesterday along with Major League Baseball, that Tanaka will miss the Mid-Summer Classic. Although Tanaka will not officially be on the roster, he will be allowed to sit in the American League dugout, during the game. Tanaka, had been selected to the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star team, five times, while playing in Japan. Uehara, who is taking Tanaka's place on the roster, was an eight time NPB All-Star in Japan.
There is a chance that Tanaka may be lost to the Yankees for an extended period of time because of the elbow tear, that would create a huge void for the Yankees and their rotation. "Anytime you lose a starting pitcher, they're hard to replace," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "What he's done for us, the innings, the wins and the quality of starts, it's hard to replace."
"It goes without saying how important he's been," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "He's been as good as anyone, probably, in our league that we've seen. He's been our go to guy."
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