NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka further solidified his case to be an American League All-Star with his latest pitching gem against the Red Sox on Saturday night.
Tanaka struck out eight and held Boston to two runs in a complete game but came away with a loss, which dropped his record to 11-3 on the season. But Tanaka leads the Majors in wins, the American League in ERA at 2.10, is in the Top 5 in the Majors in strikeouts (127) and has recorded a quality start in each of his 16 starts to begin his rookie season.
"It's hard to say that his start isn't as good as anyone who has ever pitched," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said recently.
Tanaka is certainly deserving of a bid to the All-Star Game, and possibly deserves to be named the starter. However, if the schedule holds serve, he might not be able to pitch.
The way the Yankees' rotation is currently aligned, Tanaka is scheduled to start on Sunday, July 13 in Baltimore, the final game before the All-Star break, making him ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.