Saturday, March 14, 2015

Masahiro Tanaka Looked Good and All But…

Masahiro Tanaka made his spring debut on Thursday night in George M. Steinbrenner Field when the New York Yankees played host to the Atlanta Braves and looked like the Masahiro Tanaka of old. Tanaka looked to have zero restrictions from the elbow as he placed every one of his 18 pitches wherever he wanted to whenever he wanted to. His velocity looked great, topping out at 94 MPH, for where he is at in this stage of the spring and more importantly he had no issues with the elbow that day or the next day. While the impressive and quick work will keep the Jon Heyman’s and the Peter Gammons and the Buster Olney’s at bay for the next four days us as Yankees fans should temper our expectations for Tanaka.

Tanaka didn’t exactly go rogue when he decided to skip the Tommy John surgery and instead opted to rest and rehab the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka spoke to four highly respectable doctors who reiterated the same prognoses including Dr. James Andrews. While there have been success stories in Adam Wainwright you are still merely delaying the inevitable. Tanaka’s elbow could last the rest of his career and his elbow could blow out tomorrow when he is flushing the toilet.

That’s the scariest part of it all Yankees family, we’re really in uncharted territory. Even in the success of Adam Wainwright he still eventually had the surgery so you just never know. Tanaka could pitch the rest of his seven year contract and be just fine, he could make it to his opt out date and have it blow out, or it could require the surgery tomorrow. I’m not saying all this to scare everyone I just don’t think I personally will be getting too comfortable with Tanaka until he is no longer in pinstripes because you just never know. 

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