Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka left his start against the Mets on Friday after five innings because of stiffness in both hamstrings. He’ll undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the issue, though odds are he’ll require a stint on the disabled list, Randy Miller of NJ.com suggests. Tanaka suffered the injury on the bases, thus cutting short a performance in which he allowed one run on one hit and a walk and struck out eight. The 29-year-old’s amid a second straight underwhelming season from a run prevention standpoint (4.58 ERA), but losing him would still be a significant blow for the starter-needy Yankees, who already lost lefty Jordan Montgomery for the season (and some of 2019) earlier this week.
- Given that it’s likely in the market for a starter, New York has come up as a speculative fit for Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. However, if Hamels’ home run issues don’t subside, the Rangers will have trouble getting much back for him in a trade, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News observes. The 34-year-old is currently yielding 1.93 homers per nine, well above his career mark (1.04) and the American League average for starters (1.23). Hamels has still logged a respectable 3.86 ERA, but his secondary numbers are less encouraging. He’s not exactly teeming with trade value, then, especially considering Hamels’ ability to block deals to 20 teams and his $22.5MM salary this season (plus either a $20MM club option or a $6MM buyout in 2019).
- Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier expects to return from the disabled list around June 20, according to Bill Chastain of MLB.com. The defensive standout has been on the shelf since suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb on April 15, thus limiting him to 48 plate appearances so far. Fill-in Mallex Smith has performed respectably in the aggregate (.271/.340/.351 with 11 steals in 211 PAs), but his production has dropped off a cliff this month. The Rays, meanwhile, have lost eight in a row since May 31 to fall six games below .500.
- The Orioles will activate reliever Darren O’Day from the DL on Saturday, per Keegan Matheson of MLB.com. O’Day has been out for over a month with a hyperextended right elbow. With Baltimore well out of contention, the 35-year-old O’Day could spend the next several weeks auditioning for other teams as the deadline nears, though he’s still under contract at $9MM for next season. Meanwhile, teammate and impending free-agent reliever Zach Britton could return as early as Monday, Matheson notes. Britton hasn’t pitched at all this season after suffering a ruptured Achilles during the winter.