Is Masahiro Tanaka’s fastball losing velocity due to fatigue?

Masahiro Tanaka 19

So far this season, Masahiro Tanaka has undoubtedly been the Yankees best pitcher. He’s done everything the Yankees have asked of him and he’s done a great job adjusting to the United States after pitching in Japan. With that being said, it’s become apparent Tanaka is still adjusting to Major League Baseball’s rotation rules, causing a drop in his velocity in his last outing.

Bob Klapisch of the The Record mentioned Tanaka had lost a bit of velocity from his start against the Blue Jays to his start against the Baltimore Orioles. He begins the post saying that the decrease in velocity might be nothing, but he also mentioned that Tanaka could be feeling fatigue as he hasn’t completely adjusted to pitching once every fifth day versus once a week.

The fact Tanaka could be feeling fatigue might have influenced Joe Girardi‘s decision to push Tanaka back a day, allowing the struggling Vidal Nuno to start tomorrow against the Boston Red Sox. Tanaka would have 24 hours to recuperate and he’ll start against the Red Sox on six days rest versus five. The alignment also has Tanaka missing his first All-Star game, which neither side seems to be too upset about.

The Yankees are 12-3 in games Masahiro Tanaka has started and without Tanaka, who knows if the Yankees would be chasing the Blue Jays in the American League East or if the Yankees would even be in contention for the wild card. Tanaka is an important, not to mention expensive, piece to the Yankees. If the Yankees want Tanaka for the entire year and then some, they’re going to have to monitor him very carefully. They can’t afford anything to happen to their ace.

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9 Responses to Is Masahiro Tanaka’s fastball losing velocity due to fatigue?

  1. tom says:

    Hard to know. I watched a few games he started but not recent ones. He started off 88-92 but reached 93, 94 and even 95 in the middle of a game. He mixed pitches a lot. If he had not reached 92-94 in any inning of last two games then he could suffer fatigue issue.

  2. Gerry says:

    I fail to understand how Tanaka could be fatigued pitching about 7 innings a week. He must not be eating and exercising properly if as a young man he is already tired. Give me a Warren Sphann any day.

  3. It's one freaking start. His velocity wasn't even down that much. I guess Tanaka just got Klapped! (what a troll he is).

  4. tomy cassella says:

    taneka is the new ace of the staff. some people think that sabbathia is but he is in name only. he has'nt pitched like an ace in two freaking years.

  5. olie says:

    Some believe that a splitter actually works better with a tired arm! There is nothing wrong with Tanaka, it is just something I always wanted to say!

  6. Balt Yank says:

    I would keep Tanaka at 200 innings this year and get him extra days off just to protect him from overuse injury. Let him go 220+ next year. He's an excellent pitcher and we have him for 7 years. Maybe CC will become our 20 million bullpen long man?

  7. michael charland says:

    sorry to get off the subject but everyone complaining about mcann he needs to have his eyes checked you ever see the way he squinches his eyes when hes up to bat maybe thats why hes not hitting

  8. jim turpin says:

    He has such good stuff, fatigue dosent even matter.This is coming from afan of 60 years

  9. If anyone is wondering, Tanaka followed up this start with his best stuff velocity-wise and then another start which has been right around his MLB average. So this was literally one blip that Bob Klapish jumped all over.