BALTIMORE - A week ago, Masahiro Tanaka said he couldn't wait to get to the All-Star Game. Although he wasn't lined up to pitch, he was looking forward to the event and its festivities.
Now, unsurprisingly, he has decided not to go.
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Tanaka, diagnosed last week with a slight tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, instead will begin the rehab process. He and the Yankees hope it results in his return in six or seven weeks and not, as many think is inevitable, Tommy John surgery.
The rehab process is scheduled to begin Monday with a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, followed by a period of rest.
"It's really unfortunate because he had such a great first half," Joe Girardi said before Saturday's 3-0 win over the Orioles. "But for some reason, I think he's going to get a chance to be a part of another one."
Tanaka is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA. He leads the Yankees in victories, innings pitched (1291/3) and strikeouts (135).
"You're still proud of him [for making the All-Star Game]," said Derek Jeter, the AL's starting shortstop.
McCann dinged again
Brian McCann, already nursing a sore left foot, fouled a ball off his right big toe in the seventh. An X-ray came back negative. McCann, who was the DH, said "I hope so" when asked if he can catch Sunday night.
Whitley to start finale
Not knowing what he was going to get out of rookie Shane Greene, Girardi held off on naming a starter for Sunday night's game. But Greene lasted 71/3 innings and allowed Girardi to stay away from Chase Whitley, who will start against Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.51).
Lefthander Jeff Francis, acquired Friday from the A's, was in uniform and ready to "pitch in whatever way they need me to."
For now, Girardi said, that will be as a reliever who can provide one or two innings midgame if necessary. "Just another guy that can give you multiple innings," Girardi said.
Francis, 33, has been a starter most of his career -- he went 17-9 for the 2007 Rockies -- but pitched out of the bullpen with the A's, going 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in nine appearances. He has not pitched in a big-league game since July 2 but said he's stayed loose throwing near his home in Denver. Said Francis, "I expect to fill the role they brought me in here to do."
Michael Pineda (strained teres major muscle) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday with no apparent setbacks a day later. "No news is good news," Girardi said. "I didn't get any bad news today, so that's good news." Privately, however, few in the organization believe Pineda will make it back this season.