Tanaka has been the team’s ace since signing a seven-year, $155 million deal to leave Japan and head overseas where he has been nothing short of dominant in his first season in the Major Leagues. Tanaka leads baseball with 12 wins and has a sterling 2.51 ERA through 18 starts.
Tanaka has been cruising through his first season until recently where he is 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in his last four starts, including Tuesday night when he was rocked for 10 hits and gave up five runs over 6 2/3 innings in the loss to the Indians.
His status in the All-Star Game next week from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. looks doubtful and his scheduled start with the Yankees on Sunday remains in a state of flux depending the results of the MRI.
Losing Tanaka for any length of time would surely dampen the club’s playoff chances without their ace. The Yankees are four games back in the AL East and 3.5 games back of the wildcard lead, so in the year of Tommy John surgery, the Yankees fans are crossing their fingers for a clean MRI for their 25-year-old ace.