Earlier this afternoon, the Yankees announced Masahiro Tanaka was heading back to New York with general soreness in his arm, and while they didn’t announce Tanaka was going to see a doctor, Joe Girardi did say Tanaka was just going to play catch without doing another bullpen session this week. With that being said, I had some thoughts on Masahiro Tanaka’s latest setback. Feel free to agree or disagree.
1) Do you believe his reason for going back to New York?
Masahiro Tanaka said he was going back to New York to work out at Yankee Stadium, mainly because he didn’t like the Rogers Centre workout complex. Now, I’m not saying Tanaka is lying, and maybe it’s true that Tanaka likes working out at the stadium, but the reasoning is a little fishy. Are the Yankees hiding something they don’t want the media and fans to know? Are the Yankees afraid the Tanaka news will have fans and media into a frenzy, so they’re covering up with a story that seems believable?
2) Did the Yankees rush him back for a potential Wild Card push?
It’s no secret having Masahiro Tanaka help the Yankees in their quest for the second Wild Card would vastly improve the team, but was it possible the Yankees rushed him back? I think they might have rushed him back simply because they wanted a legitimate ace leading the rotation.
3) Should the Yankees have let Masahiro Tanaka have Tommy John Surgery when they found out about the UCL tear?
This was a tough call, considering the doctors said Tanaka wasn’t going to need surgery as of yet. However, not one pitcher has ever come back fully from a UCL tear without Tommy John Surgery. If Tanaka has the surgery, then he’s going to miss the 2015 and likely 2016 season, but if they continue to try to rehab it, they’re only prolonging the procedure. I think they’re prolonging the inevitable, so I firmly believe Tanaka will find himself under the knife at some point.