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Yankees considering six-man rotation when Masahiro Tanaka returns

Aug 23, 2014, 3:10 PM EST

Masahiro Tanaka Getty Getty Images

ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand writes that the Yankees are considering moving to a six-man rotation whenever Masahiro Tanaka is activated from the disabled list in September. Not only that, but the Yankees could stick with the six-man rotation in 2015 as well.

Tanaka, who has been sidelined since July 9 with a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow, threw 35 pitches over two innings of batting practice to Zelous Wheeler and Brendan Ryan on Saturday morning. He threw all of his pitches and could throw a simulated game as he takes the next step towards a return.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild explained the logic behind potentially going to a six-man rotation:

“We have 21 games in 20 days so we are going to have to use six starters at some point,” said Rothschild. “So I think everyone in baseball is going to look for alternative ways to keep guys healthy. If that’s part of what is on the radar, you look at it and consider it.”

Tanaka went on the disabled list as an early candidate for the American League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards, sporting a 12-4 record with a 2.51 ERA and a 135/19 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings across 18 starts.

  1. larrymahnken - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    If.

    • renaado - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Well… It’s a possibility.

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I just can’t see it happening.

      • renaado - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Not unless they try it…

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        You’ll see the results bud, with the complicated schedule the MLB have? I doubt it. Good luck to them if they do it.

  2. Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    NOT going to happen.

  3. SocraticGadfly - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    And, beyond Tanaka (hope you’re well but don’t know) the certainly-gone-in-2015 Kuroda, the gone-for-the-first-half Sabathia, etc., this just means spreading the crap thinner.

    Hello Scherzer! Hello Lester! Hello new Yankees overpays!

  4. zdravit - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    No one ever follows through on this and he’s not pitching again until 2016 anyway.

    • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      You are way off base, until 2016? WOW.

  5. randygnyc - Aug 23, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    He faced live batters today. He’ll be game ready in a week to ten days

    • genericcommenter - Aug 23, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Brendan Ryan aint exactly a “live hitter.”

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Did Tanaka face Jeter? That’s all that matters, right? Godzilla vs. Mothra or something?

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        Tanaka-san did face Jeter senchou 5 years ago. Back at the 2009 WBC.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:40 AM

        Did Jeter strike out or ground into a double play?

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        I believe it was a grounder to short.

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