Interleague play strikes again, this time claiming the hamstrings of Yankees P Masahiro Tanaka. The five-year veteran was placed on the 10-day DL Saturday and is expected to miss anywhere from a couple weeks to as much as a month, according to GM Brian Cashman.
That leaves a gigantic hole in an already depleted Yankees pitching staff. Let’s take a look at five names that could potentially fill in for Tanaka’s starts while he, um, recuperates.
5. David Hale
New York signed Hale to a minor league deal May 2 after he made two relief appearances for the club, including two scoreless innings in a win over Minnesota.
He’s made seven starts for AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre, allowing 39 hits and three home runs while striking out 26 for a 4.58 ERA.
4. A.J. Cole
Honestly, anything said about Cole in these circumstances could also be said for a majority of the Yankees bullpen. Yes, he could theoretically start a bullpen game, but neither he nor anyone else is stretched out enough to throw seven innings.
Likelihood: Not gonna happen
3. Josh Rogers
Rogers has significantly stepped his game up in 11 starts for Scranton-Wilkes Barre with a 21 percent strikeout rate and a 3.29 ERA. However, his ground ball rate isn’t stellar at 36.5 percent and he doesn’t really have the velocity to be a major league starter.
2. Cole Hamels
Rumors were already swirling around the Yankees and Texas P Cole Hamels before Tanaka’s injury, but necessity could speed up the timeline on a trade that likely wouldn’t have happened until close to the deadline otherwise.
Hamels has had a solid start to 2018 – even though his 3-5 record doesn’t reflect it – with a 3.63 ERA and 74 strikeouts. His addition would give the Yankees two southpaw starters (CC Sabathia), as well.
1. Jonathan Loaisiga
Loaisiga would have to make the jump from the AA Trenton Thunder, but the organization was impressed enough during the offseason to include him on the 40-man roster – something that can’t said for anyone else on this list, save Cole.
He’s allowed 24 hits and 4 home runs in 23 innings pitched, retiring 28 batters to the tune of a 3.13 ERA – solid numbers. The hesitancy here is making the jump from AA directly to the majors, which is general inadvisable.
However, he was removed from his start with Trenton Sunday in the third inning after just 42 pitches. Could he be headed to New York?
Likelihood: Give me that Johnny Lasagna