And another one bites the dust. New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka is out for at least 6 weeks due to a partial tear in his UCL.
Of course this happened. Fourth starting pitcher out due to injury. It’s so disappointing, especially now since Tanaka was like a gift from God. He was the Yankees’ prized possession this season, the player they came to depend on, their go-to guy. Now he’s out.
Tanaka last pitched on Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians in his worst outing this season. He earned 10 runs in a little over 6 innings, not normal for the guy who went 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA in the beginning of the season. Now he’s 12-4, with a 2.51 ERA over 18 starts.He was also just just named to the All-Star team and was a Cy Young and Rookie of the year candidate.
Here’s the timeline of his injury:
Tanaka complained about soreness in his right elbow after he pitched on Tuesday night. He was immediately flown back to New York to have an MRI to see what the problem was on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Brian McCann was catching for Tanaka on Tuesday night and didn’t report anything unusual in his pitching.
“The only thing from yesterday was that his pitches didn’t have the sharp action they they’ve had in the past,” McCann said. “He still pitched good. He didn’t pitch bad. I didn’t notice anything. It was a surprise when I came in today.”
Then on Thursday, he was diagnosed with inflammation of his right elbow and placed on a 15- day disabled list. He was then flown to Seattle that same day to see the team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Ahmad was there for a conference of orthopedic surgeons, conveniently. After consultation with three different doctors, it was concluded on Thursday night that he had a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.
It was also confirmed through comparative MRIs from January that this was not a pre-existing injury. He’s been pitching on a five day rotation so maybe all that pitching finally caught up regardless of how closely the coaching staff paid attention to him.
The good news (or as good as it can get) is that he most likely won’t have to undergo surgery as of now. He will only have to rest and complete rehab for at least six weeks…
Six weeks!? We don’t have six weeks to spare without him!! And it’s not even a definite six weeks, it’s like the up in the air, we’ll see how it’s going, will possibly be more, kind of 6 weeks. So there’s the Yankees’ season for you.
And let’s just think about the future for a second too: if this ends up being something that takes him out for the season, what can we expect in 2015?! What if it ends up being a reoccuring injury for him?
That will just mean that GM Brian Cashman will have to do some serious recruiting this year and I know there’s still the trade but the really good starting pitchers are beginning to get picked up and there won’t be much left out there for Cashman to snag.
Now’s the time to be aggressive in the trade market Cashman, we’re counting on you!