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The Latest on Masahiro Tanaka

by Photo of Sam Cohen

Why the report that came out on Masahiro Tanaka could not be scarier for Yankees fans.

The Latest on Masahiro Tanaka

In this article…

New York Yankees fans, the news that you least wanted to hear has come. Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

In an era where it seems like every star pitcher spends more than a year away from the Majors because of Tommy John surgery, the Yankees' All-Star pitcher may be the next pitcher to go. The New York Post's George A. King III reported on Wednesday afternoon that Tanaka left the team in Cleveland to fly back to New York to undergo an MRI on his right arm.

Tanaka, who leads the league with 12 wins to go along with a 2.51 ERA, 135 strikeouts, 1.01 WHIP, and just 19 walks, has struggled in his past couple starts. After letting up nine hits and four runs while only striking out three against the Minnesota Twins on July 3rd, Tanaka was hit hard for 10 hits and five runs, with just five strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians last night.

I actually went to see Tanaka on June 28th against Boston and although Tanaka pitched a full nine-inning ballgame, I could tell something was wrong. Before serving up a home run to Mike Napoli, Tanaka kept stretching his arms and seemed to be trying to shake off some soreness. My friend who I was with also mentioned something to me and one has to wonder if the Yankees should have taken him out at that point and checked him out.

Tanaka signed a 7-year, $155 million deal in January to come over from Japan to begin his MLB career in New York. He has been by far the best player on the Yankees and one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. His loss would be a crushing blow for a Yankees team that is only one game over .500 and well below .500 when Tanaka isn't pitching.

Tommy John surgery often begins with elbow inflammation, so this report comes as a gigantic red flag. Star young pitchers such as Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, and Stephen Strasburg have all had the operation in recent years.

Tanaka, the Yankees, and fans everywhere will be hoping and praying that Tanaka does not join that list. This is currently the biggest story in baseball and we will be providing updates on Tanaka whenever we hear them.

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