Yesterday we discussed what the Yankees could expect from CC Sabathia as he bounces back from knee surgery. Today, we’ll discuss what the Yankees can expect from Masahiro Tanaka who is coming off an impressive rookie All-Star season.
When the Yankees won the bidding war for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, many were skeptical on whether or not Tanaka could pitch in the Major Leagues. For the first few months, Tanaka was all anyone kept their eyes on, hoping the $155 Million right-hander would pan out. In the end, Tanaka had a great rookie season, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA, a 3.04 FIP and a 1.056 WHIP in 136.1. Not only did Tanaka have an impressive season, he also made the All-Star team.
However, while Tanaka was dominant, he also missed at least 10 starts because of a small UCL tear in his elbow. The Yankees and Tanaka opted for the starter not to have Tommy John Surgery and instead rehab the elbow. Tanaka made two starts at the end of the 2014 campaign to give the Yankees peace of mind, but they were Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starts.
— In his first start after coming off disabled list, Tanaka went 5.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out four.
— In his second and final start after coming off the disabled list, Tanaka went 1.2 innings giving up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and striking out two.
It’s possible Tanaka’s second start was just rust, or it could have been the elbow. There’s tons of speculation about Tanaka’s last two starts, but we won’t know what Tanaka has to offer until heads to Florida for Spring Training.
So what can ..read more