She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks
Tanaka on DL, CC Out Spells Trouble for Playoff Hopes
Masahiro Tanaka to be on Disabled List for a Minimum of Six Weeks
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 11- Less than a week before the All-Star Game was to be played, the Yankees received their worst news of the 2014 season. It was announced that Yankee ace Masahiro Tanaka would be out of action for at least six weeks with a partial tear in his ulner collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.
The first indication occurred last Tuesday when the rookie complained of soreness after being removed from his start after 6.2 innings. He was then placed on the 15 day DL.
The problem was diagnosed after Tanaka underwent an MRI and flew to Seattle to confer with the Yankees physician, Dr. Christopher Ahmed, and other doctors. It was determined that the tear was small and Tanaka would undergo a six-week period of rehabilitation. He is to have a platelet-rich plasma injection next week. No surgery was proposed.
If the rehab is not successful, he will likely have to have Tommy John surgery, which will put him out of action until the 2016 season.
The loss was huge as Tanaka joined three of the starters of the season beginning, C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, on the disabled list. Only Hiroki Kuroda, 39, currently remains in the starting rotation.
The importance of the loss of the rookie from Japan can easily be determined by his place in the individual pitching rankings in the American League this season. He ranks first in wins (12), and complete games (3), second in ERA (2.27) and fewest walks per 9 innings (1.3), fifth in winning percentage (.800) and innings pitched (122.2) and sixth in strikeouts (130) and opponents’ batting average against (.224).
The amazing newcomer to MLB was a favorite to win the as the American League Rookie-of-the-Year Award and the Cy Young Award. He was also a rare rookie pitcher being seriously considered to be the American League starting pitcher in the All-Star Game.
The two men, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman, who have the prime responsibility for the success of the Yankees this year commented upon the loss of Tanaka. Yankee skipper Girardi tried, as always, to be optimistic, “We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It is what it is. It’ll be at least six weeks. I’m optimistic we’ll have him back.” When asked about how the rotation will now be devised, he responded, “We’ll figure it out.”
General Manager Brian Cashman spoke of his efforts to obtain a starting pitcher through a trade, “We’ve been aggressive because now we’ve got four starters that we were planning to use out. We are in a division fight, and we want to stay in the fight.”