New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be making a rehab start for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Wednesday night in Moosic.
Out since June 9, when he suffered mild hamstring strains in both legs during a June 8 game against the New York Mets, Tanaka will be taking a major step toward returning to the Yankees’ rotation. Wednesday will mark the 29-year-old right-hander’s first, and likely only, rehab start before he’s expected to return next week.
“I could have gone. I could have pitched in a major league game Wednesday,” Tanaka said through a translator when asked if he could have pitched against the Atlanta Braves this week, via the New York Daily News. “It was decision of trainers and everybody for me to get a rehab start in. I think they have in mind to build me up stronger and looking at bigger picture of keeping me healthy longer and deeper into the season, so I’m OK with that.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters that Tanaka, who threw a bullpen session prior to Monday’s game against the Braves, is expected to throw 60-70 pitches against the Buffalo Bisons.
“I think it’s just checking boxes to make sure he’s completely healthy and comes out of it in the right way,” Boone said.
If all goes well, Tanaka told reporters on Monday that he expects to rejoin the Yankees in time for next week’s series in Baltimore. Monday’s doubleheader could be a possibility.
“I’m sure I’ll be fine. After that, we move to hopefully Baltimore,” Tanaka said.
The one-time all-star has made 13 starts for the Yankees this season and sports a 7-2 record and 4.58 ERA.
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