Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka is heading back to New York to undergo an MRI on his pitching arm, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman confirms that Tanaka will indeed have his right arm examined in New York, and the Yankees on Wednesday announced that Tanaka was going on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
As King notes, Tanaka is coming off his worst start of this, his first season in the U.S. major leagues. Additionally, Heyman reports that Tanaka did indeed mention some discomfort to the team after Tuesday night's rough outing against the Indians.
This season, Tanaka, 25, has pitched to a 2.51 ERA and 7.11 K/BB ratio in 18 starts and 129 1/3 innings. He was recently named to the AL All-Star team and is generally regarded as a strong Cy Young contender at the mid-point.
Needless to say, if Tanaka's reported MRI turns up anything significant, then it will be a grave blow to a Yankees team that's already dealing with a number of injuries in the rotation.
This past offseason, the Yankees, in addition to paying a lofty posting fee, signed Tanaka to a seven-year, $155-million contract. That deal also allows Tanaka to opt out and become a free agent after the 2017 season.