Yankees put Masahiro Tanaka on DL | What it means

                        Yankees right-hander has a shoulder issue.




            <strong>NEW YORK </strong>-- The worst season of fallen <a href="http://www.nj.com/yankees/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Yankees</a> ace Masahiro Tanaka's  career has become more miserable:

The Japanese righty was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday morning with right shoulder inflammation.

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Japanese reporters sensed something was wrong on Friday when Tanaka didn’t join teammates for the Yankees pre-game stretch prior to their 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Tanaka was DL’s on what would have been his side throwing day. He had been scheduled to pitch Monday night at Yankee Stadium against the Mets in the first of four Sunway Series games next week.

The Yankees recalled rookie reliever Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Tanaka on the 25-man roster.

A 25-year-old righty, Gallegos was 0-1 with a 7.15 in nine games with the Yankees earlier this season and 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA over 24 appearances in Triple-A.

There was no immediate word how serious this issue is with Tanaka, who has been pitching since August 2016 with a partially torn UCL in his throwing arm.

Tanaka’s absence probably will lead to rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery remaining in the rotation even though the organization wants to limit his innings for the final two months of the season.

Montgomery was sent back to Triple-A last week, but returned before making a start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because he was recalled on Friday due to lefty CC Sabathia going on the 10-day DL with a knee injury.

Sabathia is expected to miss just one turn, so the Yankees will have five healthy starters again soon.

If the Yankees still opt to farm out Montgomery again and have him pitch fewer innings in the minors, Bryan Mitchell would be an option to use as a starter. A righty, Mitchell had been starting in Triple-A before rejoining the Yankees last Tuesday as a long reliever.

Montgomery is 7-5 with a 4.05 ERA over 21 starts this season, while Mitchell is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA with the Yankees in 14 games, all but one in relief.

Tanaka, 28 was the Yankees’ ace since coming to North America in 2014 and until this season, one in which he’s struggled to an 8-10 record with a 4.92 ERA over 23 starts.

Tanaka was one of the best pitchers in baseball last season, as he was 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA that ranked third in the American League.

His 2017 began with a dominate spring training, but it began turning on Opening Day when he was shelled for seven runs over 2 2/3 innings in a Yankees loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tanaka had three more terrible starts in May when he allowed eight runs over 1 2/3 innings in a home loss to Houston, six runs over three innings in a road setback at Tampa Bay and seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in a loss in Baltimore.

There were signs of late that he was turning his season around, as he allowed a combined two runs over 14 innings facing Tampa Bay on July 28 and Detroit on Aug. 2.

Tanaka, however, regressed again in his most recent outing when he allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits and a season-high five walks over four innings in a no-decision in Toronto last Wednesday.

Homers allowed have been a big problem this season for Tanaka, who have given up a career-high 28 over 133 2/3 innings this season and holding opponents to 22 over 199 2/3 innings in 2016.

Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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