Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka Conceivably Has Two Starts Left This Season

The New York Yankees are being cautious with ace starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as he attempts to rehab a less than 10% tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow. Tanaka threw a simulated game against Instructional League batters this week as what was thought to be the final step before returning to the mound in the Bronx. If the Yankees play their cards right with Tanaka they could conceivably get two starts out of the 25 year old before the season is over.

The Yankees want to evaluate Tanaka now rather than in the offseason so they can either go ahead with his Tommy John surgery or not. If Tanaka gets on the mound now and finds out he needs the surgery the team saves four or five months of rehab and recovery time. If New York finds out he needs the surgery either in Spring Training or during the season they are looking at even more lost time for Tanaka. With the contract that is associated with Tanaka it is imperative to get him on the mound as soon as possible either way.

Tanaka threw Monday and the Yankees stated they wanted to give him a day or two of extra rest if possible so conceivably Tanaka would not throw before Saturday or Sunday. The Yankees could welcome back Tanaka against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend in the stadium and he could also pitch on the final day of the season in Boston and Fenway Park.

If Tanaka cannot make either of those starts it is under the knife he goes so keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well. If Tanaka can make his two starts he will rest for the rest of the winter, he will not attend any sort of Winter Ball or league, and will be ready in Spring Training 2015. Fingers crossed. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)