Jul 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (18) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees' In Panic Mode After Tanaka News

Jun 28, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Just when the Yankees thought they were starting to get players activated from the disabled list, the thought of putting another one on there sounds horrifying. However, this one seems like it will sting just a little bit more.

Baseball broke the news yesterday, as Yankees’ ace Masahiro Tanaka flew back to New York to get an MRI on his right elbow. Currently, Tanaka is placed on the DL for inflammation in his right elbow. If his injury requires Tommy John surgery, it will be a devastating loss for the Yankees on many levels.

To some, this injury is not a surprise. In his last two starts, Tanaka didn’t look like himself. In 13 2/3 innings, he gave up 20 hits and 10 runs. Those are not even remotely close to the Tanaka numbers at all that he has been putting up in all of his starts prior to those.

There is no question that Tanaka is the reason why the Yankees are even still hanging on in this division race. The rookie is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA with half a season still to play. He gives the Yankees a chance to win every five days, and they have received everything they have wanted and more from him.

“He gives us a chance to win even when he is not at his best,’’ Mark Teixeira told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “When he is dominant, forget about it.”

The Yankees are trying to stay optimistic about his DL stint, but everyone in that organization knows that they are in big trouble. It has been talked about that Chase Whitley will take his place, but there is definitely going to be a different feel with this team.

“He’s been as good as anyone probably in our league that we’ve seen,” Derek Jeter told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “He’s been our go-to guy.’’

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  • Joseph

    The Yankees would likely never do it, and even if they did fans would lose their mind, but the smart play is to pack it in for this season.

    Unless they gutted their farm system AND took on a kajillion dollars in dubious contracts they’d never close the gap enough to make a charge in October even if they some how miraculously won the division.

    Kuroda, Cervelli, Drob and Gardner are all attractive to contenders for various reasons right now.

    A quality back-up catcher is hard to find (though they might be more interested in Murphy because of age & cost control), Kuroda has just half a year left on a deal, Drob would be a summer rental for a contender like the Angels, Tigers or possibly even Pirates and Gardner has the highest WAR on Yankees and a reasonable deal.

    You could always try to resign Drob after the season and corner OF’s aren’t exactly hard to find either via trade or FA so Gardner could be replaced.

    Top off on prospects to go along with the rich crop of new international free agents they just signed, reevaluate the status of everyone’s injury at end of the season and react accordingly in the off-season imo.

    It’s not just the smart play. It’s the only play.