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.
Yanks have no issue with Napoli's post-HR comment
NEW YORK -- When Mike Napoli rushed to the visiting dugout on Saturday, celebrating his ninth-inning homer off Masahiro Tanaka, he was unaware that his voice could be heard by the FOX microphones perched near the playing field.
The telecast picked up Napoli shouting, "What an idiot!", surprised and elated that Tanaka threw him a 96-mph fastball after the Boston slugger had so much trouble connecting with the hurler's breaking pitches earlier in the 2-1 Red Sox victory.
At a more heated time in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, Napoli's comment might have sparked a war of words or more, but that does not appear to be the case now. Multiple Yankees said on Sunday that they did not have an issue with Napoli because the comment was intended to be shared privately with teammates.
"That wasn't a big deal," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "I have no problem with it at all. If everything that was said inside a dugout or clubhouse was public knowledge, no one would ever talk about the game."
Yoshiki Sato, Tanaka's public relations representative, said that the pitcher was made aware of the comment late on Saturday night but that he was not upset by it. Yankees manager Joe Girardi also said that he did not have an issue with Napoli's words.
"I don't make much of it," Girardi said. "It's yesterday, the heat of the moment, and doesn't really change the complexion of the game. It doesn't really change today's game."
Girardi added that Napoli's reputation does not lead him to believe that there were ill intentions with the comment.
"I haven't seen anything in Mike Napoli where he's a guy that shows people up, or he's a guy that degrades people," Girardi said. "Unfortunately, everything is seen now in the world we live in, but I've never had the sense that he's a bad guy. He's a guy that plays hard and loves to play the game."
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he and his team both have "the utmost respect for Tanaka," while adding that "the one thing we don't ever want our players to be is non-emotional."
Teixeira said that there should never be a reason for players to censor their in-game commentary in or around the dugout area.
"I don't think it gets over the line, but if it ever does go over the line where too much is shown, then we'll just have [the microphones] taken out. It's as simple as that," Teixeira said.
Beltran dealing with soreness in right forearm
NEW YORK -- One day after mentioning that the bone spur in his right elbow might be responsible for some of his issues at the plate, Carlos Beltran clarified on Sunday that he has been dealing more with lingering soreness in his forearm.
Beltran may have turned a corner after his performance during Sunday's 8-5 loss against the Red Sox. He went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. Since hitting a game-winning three-run homer against the Orioles on June 20, Beltran had been mired in a 2-for-25 slump entering Sunday.
"Good results, that's all basically," Beltran said about what was different for him in this game. "I felt like I had a good approach and felt like I had good at-bats. I put good at-bats together and got good results."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi checked with Beltran on Sunday afternoon after being informed of the veteran's comments, and Beltran assured Girardi that he did not need a day off and would be ready to play Sunday.
"My elbow feels fine. It's just the forearm, when I started throwing, it kind of got tight," Beltran said before the game. "Now the knot is almost gone. It's still sore a little bit on the top, but it's improving."
Girardi added: "When the player tells me he's fine and you ask him on a daily basis, I believe him. I know his forearm is a little bit sore, but we believe that had to do with the throwing."
Girardi said that the Yankees are tentatively planning to have Beltran resume throwing in a week. Beltran said that it has been frustrating not to be able to play the field and to require so much time in the training room.
"I just need to find a way to not think about it," Beltran said.
• Rehabbing left-hander CC Sabathia reported no issues on Sunday, one day after throwing 2 1/3 innings in a start for Class A Advanced Tampa. He will throw a bullpen session at Yankee Stadium on Monday, and the Yankees are looking to try to move his next rehab start closer to New York.
• Brian McCann's .224 batting average entering play on Sunday is below what both the Yankees and the five-time Silver Slugger Award winner would have expected, but Girardi believes that McCann has played better than many are giving him credit for.
"If you were to look solely at how our staff has done, his RBI totals  and his home runs [nine], you'd probably say, 'You know what? He's having a pretty good year,'" Girardi said.
"When you look at that average, that's kind of glaring. I think people say, 'He's not having the year that he's capable of.' I know he expects more from himself, but some of the important numbers he's doing a pretty good job at."
• On this date in 1987, the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays, 15-14, at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium behind a pair of grand slams hit by Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield.
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.