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Masahiro Tanaka could test out his elbow if given clearance Monday

Aug 3, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will visit with a doctor on Monday. If he is given the clearance, the right-hander could start playing catch, Erik Boland of Newsday reports.

Don’t expect an imminent return, however. It is still good news, and if everything goes perfectly, Tanaka could rejoin the Yankees for a late-season playoff push. Tanaka has felt better since receiving platelet-rich plasma injections several weeks ago.

Tanaka, 25, last pitched on July 8 when he suffered a partial tear of the UCL ligament. At the time, he was in the running for the American League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards. He went on the shelf with a 12-4 record, a 2.51 ERA, and a 135/19 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings.

  1. Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    3 words:

    Soften the MOUND.

    That’s all.

    • renaado - Aug 3, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      Why is there a need to soften up the mound? It’s alright bein as is… If this has somethin to do with injury, assumingly speakin , then to “adapt”, is definitely the better solution.

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:56 AM

        Well, I’ll just give a goodluck message to them from kami-sama, bud.

    • jfk69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:18 AM

      That is not the problem.
      A pitchers take on Tanaka.
      What I see is an over reliance on his splitter. This pitch is notorious on the elbow and Tanaka ramps it up by throwing it in the high 80’s to low 90’s. Some games he was throwing it over 60% of the time.
      That and I also see what appears to be a developing cutter that acts like a splitter. Again throw very hard.
      If I had Mariano Rivera starting and throwing his pitch 60% of the time. His career would have lasted 5 years at best.
      He has fallen in love with that pitch because it works on major league hitters. The problem is the downside on your elbow and arm. This will be a continuing problem if he over relies on that pitch. Especially when he throws it at nearly 90 MPH.

      • jfk69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:29 AM

        Some of you might laugh. But there is an exercise to help strengthen the elbow.
        Get a barrel. Fill it with rice. Stick your arm in up to your shoulder. Try to turn your arm while remaining immobile. Pay special attention to turning your lower arm from the elbow.
        Used very successfully by Steve Carleton.

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:39 AM

        “Get a barrel. Fill it with rice. Stick your arm in up to your shoulder. Try to turn your arm while remaining immobile. ”

        Man! That’s one of Yanagita Yuki’s and Arakaki Nagisa’s training routine! Damm dude, I’m impressed someone knew about this.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        Tanaka has thrown his splitter 25% of the time in MLB – there has never been a game where he threw it more than 35% of the time. But keep making stuff up.

    • jfk69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      That arm and elbow conditioning exercise I described was used back in the late 70’s. That is when I first heard of it. Most trainers and pitchers laughed. However a famous pitcher nick named “Lefty” used it in the 80’s. I would know.

  2. miguelcairo - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    D. Phelps left his start with right elbow inflammation…it’s almost getting spooky.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Keep putting off the surgery.

    The rest of the league appreciates it.

    • dan1111 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:12 AM

      I’m sure you would want to make extra sure it was necessary before a major surgery involving cutting out a part of your body and putting it somewhere else.

      And despite the surgery occurring so often that is seems routine, recovery is not automatic. There is a significant chance of never being able to pitch at the same level again.

      The Yankees and Tanaka aren’t dumb to try to avoid surgery.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        If you respond to every stupid / inappropriate thing tbucker says, you will never have time for anything else. Just ignore him like most everyone else.

  4. kingkershaw - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Sounds like the exact same thing to happen to Zach Grienke last year. If he’s cant come back this year the Yankees are done.

  5. corky2141 - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Aren’t pitchers with his throwing style, not including his lower body but his arm motion, notorious for having this injury and getting tommy john surgery? Where during the stride, their elbow is higher than their shoulder while the ball/ hand is below. Same arm motion as Pryor & Strasburg. Just saying

    • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      It’s a 3 quarter delivery, very common here in Japan and mostly in Japanese pitchers. His delivery on how he pitch have nothing to do with this kind of current injury of his.

      He’s been playing here in Japan for 6 years already and I’ve seen him pitch everytime Rakuten visits Fukuoka and via, an injury this severe is “CERTAINLY” the first time I’ve seen throughout his career as a ballplayer.

    • Reflex - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      You are thinking of the Inverted W. So far as I know that’s not Tanaka’s motion. The W isn’t the only thing that leads to TJS, but it seems like a correlating factor (and there are theories as to why). The jury is out on how valid of an observation it is, however (but I tend to believe it).

  6. larrymahnken - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Per Sweeny Murti – Tanaka felt no pain after throwing 50 pitches today.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24648106/tanaka-plays-catch-feels-good-after-throwing-for-first-time-since-elbow-injury

    Yankees might have dodged a bullet.

  7. corky2141 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I was referring to the “inverted W” & though his isn’t as prominent as others he does use that motion in his stretch. His delivery point may be three quarters but that’s not what’s a question. And bring up his ability to be fine in japan, where they throw once a week is pointless too. Look at diceka matusaka

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