Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jacob Lindgren, Elbows and Masahiro Tanaka

Even before Yankees pitchers and catchers reported down to George M. Steinbrenner Field this week to begin Spring Training camps all the eyes and discussions were on the elbow of Masahiro Tanaka. This is nothing new for Tanaka or Yankees fans but this year it was for a different reason. In years past the discussion and worry has been focused on his ulnar collateral ligament and his “need” for Tommy John surgery despite the fact that five doctors including specialist Dr. James Andrews diagnosis not to have the surgery but this year all the attention is focused on the surgery that Tanaka did elect to have. Tanaka had bone spurs removed from his elbow this offseason after the spurs hampered him and his ability to throw a splitter for much of the 2015 season, the same surgery that ended the season of Yankees relief prospect Jacob Lindgren.

Lindgren had bone spurs removed from his elbow late last June and he said after “about three months” he was feeling “great now.” Tanaka had the same surgery after the season meaning he is pushing the four month rehab and rest window now and yet fans and the organization are still worried and/or holding him back for precautionary reasons. I understand Lindgren is making $525K this season and Tanaka is making in excess of $20 million but the future of both arms should be equally as important, so why hold Tanaka back?

Let Lingo Lightning do his thing this spring and win his spot back into the Cirlce of Trust and let Tanaka do his thing and win the ace spot away from Luis Severino in the starting rotation. It is bone spurs, it’s not Tommy John surgery. Take the diapers off and let the kids throw! Just my two pennies this morning. 

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