• Yankees' Tanaka goes on 15-day DL

  • CLEVELAND — The New York Yankees' battered rotation may have suffered the most crucial loss of all.
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  • CLEVELAND — The New York Yankees' battered rotation may have suffered the most crucial loss of all.
    Rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka, who has 12 wins, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to right elbow inflammation. He had an MRI in New York on Wednesday.
    Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted he's concerned about Tanaka's prognosis.
    "You're always worried when you have a guy go back for an elbow MRI," he said. "It would be a big loss. Anytime you lose a starting pitcher, they're hard to replace. And what he's done for us, the innings and the wins and the quality of starts, it's hard to replace."
    The Yankees, who have also lost pitchers CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova to injuries, are 45-44 and trail first-place Baltimore by four games in the AL East entering Wednesday.
    Tanaka allowed five runs and 10 hits — both career highs — in in a 5-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night. The All-Star is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts, but has lost three of his past four outings.
    The Yankees signed Tanaka, 25, to a seven-year, $155 million contract in January after he had a standout career in Japan. New York also paid $20 million to his Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, for his rights.
    Tanaka began the season 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA, but hasn't been as effective in his past four starts, going 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA.
    He's allowed eight home runs in his past five starts, including two on Tuesday, a two-run shot in the sixth to Nick Swisher that put Cleveland ahead and a solo blast by Michael Brantley in the seventh.
    Girardi didn't notice any sign that something was bothering Tanaka during the game.
    "There wasn't anything that led us to believe there was anything wrong," he said. "He told the trainers that he just felt some soreness so we felt it was best to send him back and have an MRI. It's the first time he's complained (of it)."
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