In a bit of a surprise, Masahiro Tanaka played catch in the Citi Field outfield on Sunday, two days after injuring both hamstrings while running the bases.
Tanaka went on the disabled list Saturday after leaving Friday’s game early. The Yankees are sifting through their options for Tanaka’s spot this Friday against the Rays.
One intriguing possibility is righthander Jonathan Loaisiga, 23, who has never pitched above Double-A. He allowed four runs in two innings while pitching for Trenton on Sunday. For the season, he is 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA in six Double-A starts after going 3-0, 1.35 for Class A Tampa.
Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild did not rule out Loaisiga as a candidate. It helps his chances that he is on the 40-man roster.
“He’s had some good games this year,” Rothschild said. “He was impressive in spring training. But he’s a young guy that hasn’t pitched a whole lot, so we’ll have to see what that decision is when we get to it.”
Another possibility is righthander David Hale, who is 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Hale, 30, had a 3.60 ERA in two games with the Yankees earlier this season. He is not on the 40-man roster.
Betances is back
Rothschild said he isn’t surprised about the recent dominance of Dellin Betances, who struck out the side in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 4-3 victory on Saturday. Entering Sunday, he hadn’t allowed a run in his last seven outings, giving up one hit and striking out 11 in seven innings.
“It was just a matter of time before he got on a nice roll,” Rothschild said. “You can see the results now . . . His track record is impressive. Four All-Star Games is not something that you ignore. It was just a matter of him getting back into a real solid delivery and repeating it.”