Yankees are in trouble without Masahiro Tanaka

The reason the Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 Million contract almost three years ago was for his ability to get out the opposition.

Unfortunately, Tanaka hasn’t done much of that this season, which means the Yankees are officially in trouble. During Saturday’s start, Tanaka was once again unable to locate his pitches which led to the Tampa Bay Rays tagging him for six runs on nine hits in three innings of work. The problem is, the Yankees don’t know what’s wrong with Tanaka; they’re even unsure if it’s some sort of mechanical flaw.

It also doesn’t help the Rays are always able to figure out Tanaka; Tanaka has a 6.56 ERA in his career against the Yankees AL East opponents.

The Yankees rotation is in shambles at the moment, and to prevent getting swept, the Yankees will turn to CC Sabathia. Unfortunately, Sabathia has had his own share of struggles as well.

The Yankees offense is producing, but with the pitching putting them in an early hole, it’s hard to win games that way. But some of Tanaka’s struggles weren’t just him leaving pitches up in the zone; he also wasn’t getting calls on certain pitches that floated in for strikes. That led manager Joe Girardi to throw a tantrum a la Billy Martin style and earn an ejection from home plate umpire Scott Barry. Before Girardi descended, he sprinkled dirt all over home plate before entering into the clubhouse.

“I might as well get my money’s worth,’’ Girardi said after the game.

Barry refused to clean Girardi’s mess, and it was ultimately cleaned up by catcher Gary Sanchez.

The Yankees need Tanaka to be an ace, but his rocky outings are beginning to cause issues, and questions. Are his issues mechanical? Is he truly healthy? The Yankees won’t divulge further than that, but for now, they know Tanaka’s having some sort of issue…and the Yankees need to do whatever it takes in order to fix him.

And not surprisingly, Tanaka agrees.

“I just have to be better,” Tanaka said. “Learn from my mistakes.”

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7 Responses to Yankees are in trouble without Masahiro Tanaka

  1. Jerry says:

    Right now we are in trouble with Tanaka pitching for the Yankees. I don't know what's going on, but I believe he will turn it around. He's just too good not to. He's 5 and 3 and he will end up with more wins this year than any other. His confidence is shot, he needs a couple of decent innings to get him going.

  2. Terry says:

    Clearly there's more going on here than left side of the rubber vs. right side. Unfortunately with the elbow situation, you always wonder. But it may be just a smaller, nagging type of injury. We may never know

    • Terry says:

      However, you don't go from being a master of control, to totally losing it mechanically often. There is something that keeps his upper half and lower half out of sync and or from finishing his pitches to the last half inch. Again. we may never know. Hope they fix it soon, we need him

    • I want to point out that Tanaka has been freakishly consistent with his velocity, which is something you do not see with pitchers dealing with elbow issues.

      Take a look at the charts: http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=1

  3. tom says:

    I don't think he is hurt but he simply makes too many mistakes. His HR percentage this year is overwhelming.

    If he keeps pitching like that then he and Severino will be locked for 2018 rotation. It is better than only Severino, lol.

    Many good pitchers have a several bad years on their resume and Tanaka is suffering his first one this year. Let's hope it is only 1/2 season as he could revert to his old self in 2nd half.

  4. buckeye balls says:

    it solves the opting out concern-got to be the elbow-no swinging and missing at all. Get him the surgery so he can be dominant in 19 and 20

  5. Jim says:

    Yanks may have to put Tanaka on the DL, not sure what is going on but he has been terrible for a while now. Currently, Cessa is our best pitching prospect ready for the majors, though Chance Adams has a real high end and might be able to help the team by late June. He is already in AAA after starting in AA. Every game this year has been a good outing.

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