The Yankees made the move Saturday before hosting the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. Right-hander Giovanny Gallegos was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill Tanaka's spot on the roster. In his most recent start, Tanaka had allowed a leadoff home run to Jose Bautista and then a walk to Josh Donaldson, giving him a career-high five walks and prompting Girardi to remove him from the game.
A day earlier, the playoff-contending Yankees put starter CC Sabathia on the DL because of inflammation in his right knee. "From a strength standpoint he comes out fine", said Girardi before referring to a magnetic resonance imaging test.
"We decided he needs a break", Girardi said.
Tanaka won't throw for five days while doing strengthening exercises. "I'm not looking to be away for a long time".
Tanaka has struggled all season, having gone 8-10 with a 4.92 ERA. The 28-year-old was scheduled to start Monday night when the New York Mets play at Yankee Stadium. Brian Mitchell and Luis Cessa are options to temporarily replace him in the rotation.