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Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow

Jul 10, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka Getty Getty Images

The diagnosis is in on Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and it’s not particularly promising.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman just announced that Tanaka has seen three doctors and all of them have diagnosed him with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Tanaka will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection for now and attempt to begin a throwing program. If all goes well, he could make it back in around six weeks. Of course, Tommy John surgery hasn’t been ruled out if his elbow fails to respond. While the tear is considered “small,” there haven’t been many success stories with pitchers attempting to rehab from these type of injuries. If Tommy John surgery is ultimately required, he will likely miss around 12 months. Basically, the Yankees are faced with the very real possibility that they will be without Tanaka for the rest of this season and all (or most) of 2015.

The news is a really tough blow for the Yankees and just the latest in a long line of high-profile pitchers with arm injuries. Tanaka has been a sensation in his first year stateside, going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and 135/19 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings over 18 starts.

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. aceshigh11 - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:28 AM

    This is a damn shame…and even as a Red Sox fan, I’m resisting every urge to feel even the slightest hint of Schadenfreude, considering what a horrific season we’re having.

    And really, it shouldn’t matter what team he plays for. He’s an incredible athlete and his injury is a loss to baseball.

    • moogro - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      He’ll come back in 6-8 weeks and re-injure himself in a simulated game or the first game back and then get surgery,

  2. nbjays - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Sad to see his season (and possibly next) end this way. When you have supremely talented pitchers like Tanaka and Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey having this happen in the middle of their prime years, it absolutely sucks for baseball and baseball fans. I’d say forget rehab, get TJ now, and get back sooner and better.

    Now if only I could feel as bad for the Yankees as I do for Tanaka. Ah, well, such is life for a fan of an AL East rival.

  3. pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    It’s too bad. He’s been everything you could have hoped for if you’re a Yankees fan. It’s really amazing how many injuries they’ve had with the starting pitching this season, but this is by far their most costly loss. I just don’t see this rehab being a long term fix for this as I think he’s going to eventually need Tommy John surgery, which will mean losing him for a long time. With the amount of money on his contract and the uncertainty of his pitching future, this could really change the future of the Yankees.

  4. trbmb - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Quite clearly the only answer here is to re-sign Cashboy The GM for 3 more years, give him a 20 year reign, and let him finish the job by burying every position with massive contracts and continue to draft and develop nothing. Given the farm system is weak with prospects, this next off season, with Cashboy empowered, will be quite comical. A franchise buried by the brilliance of Cashboy.

    • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      I sort of disagree. If the pitching could have stayed healthy this season I think this team would at least be leading the AL east, and yes I know that’s not saying a lot, but it’s still a division in baseball. I do think Cashman has made some good signings, including Tanaka. No one can predict these type of injuries and sometimes it’s just bad luck.
      As for their farm system, I think it’s probably the best it’s been in a while. They’ve called up a few guys this season and they’ve had an immediate impact on the team. No it’s never going to produce what they had in the early 90’s but I think they can build it up again just as long they’re not traded away as has happened in the past.
      I think it’s become clear this team is not a win now team anymore. I think Cashman and the organization know it’s going to take a handful of years to build up this team again around it’s veterans.

    • 4cornersfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      What does Cashman have to do with the injury to Tanaka? There are drugs that can control ADD.

  5. cmoney4949 - Jul 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I love it. How many $20 million plus players are hurt? Don’t forget Aroid at $30 million. I hope they continue to out bid everybody for over the hill players and the collapse of the evil empire.

    Go O’s!!!

    • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      For what it’s worth to you, Tanaka is only 25, so far from over the hill.

      • cmoney4949 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        By the time he is back, if ever, he will be 27!!

    • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Also since you mentioned “ARoid”. Don’t forget that you have a steroid guy on your team as well hitting tons of HR’s this season. Just sayin’.

      • cmoney4949 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        He did his time. He didn’t deny or lie about like Aroid. Go O’s.

    • doknyc - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      yeah, be proud cmoney… o’s, redskins, capitals… all winners…

      • cmoney4949 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        O’s, 49ers and wizards!! Who cares about hockey??

      • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        You do realize Showalter has a way of losing his team after a while with his overbearing ways. I’m not saying it will definitely happen but it’s happened in the past. They’re a solid team and anything is possible so it should be interesting during the second half of the season. I do think playing in a weak AL east is certainly helping their cause.

    • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      And you consider 27 over the hill?

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 11, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Don’t give Os fans a bad name with silly comments like this one. I love watching the Yanks lose even more so when it comes at the hands of my Os. But there is no call to celebrate another persons injury. And coming from a fan of a team that just lost their star catcher you should know how it feels.

      • pete2112 - Jul 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM


        Thanks for showing some class.

        It’s been a while since the O’s had a decent team and it’s finally coming together for them. If it wasn’t for the Yankees in the 90’s they probably would’ve had a couple championships during that run. That 97 team was impressive.

        The AL east is definitely in a transitional period. For the longest time it was the Yankees, Sox and Rays and now it’s looking like the O’s and Jay’s have a good core in place to fight it out for a while.

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