Updates from Wednesday, July 24
Cashman also said that Tanaka is feeling better, but still has discomfort. "It's too early to call" if rest program will work. @TMKSonYES— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 23, 2014
Updates from Friday, July 18
Andrew Marchand of ESPN provides comments from Masahiro Tanaka, who is unsure whether or not he will return to the mound this season:
At this point, I'm just going with what the doctors are telling me," Tanaka said. "Their decision was not to go with surgery so that's pretty much it."
On Monday, Tanaka had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his pitching elbow. He is now resting until the elbow does not hurt at all.
"When he is symptom-free, he will start a throwing program," general manager Brian Cashman said.
Tanaka said once he starts to throw, it will be realistic to map out a return. The initial diagnosis called for six weeks of healing time. That was a little more than a week ago.
Updates from Saturday, July 12
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reports Masahiro Tanaka will not be in attendance at the All-Star Game:
Masahiro Tanaka could attend Tuesday's All-Star Game, but he's not.
Instead, the 25-year-old will focus on treating his ailing right elbow, manager Joe Girardi said.
"It's really unfortunate," Girardi said of Tanaka's injury. "He had a great first half. He's unable to be part of it but, for some reason, I think he's going to get to go to another one."
Updates from Friday, July 11
Sporting News' Jesse Spector has Tanaka's statement on his injury:
A statement from Masahiro Tanaka. He apologizes for being hurt. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/UX2JhJQfnb— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) July 11, 2014
Updates from Thursday, July 10
NJ.com's Brendan Kuty, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, and MLB.com's Bryan Hoch have a verdict on Tanaka:
Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn ligament in his throwing arm. No Tommy John yet. Will rehab, see if it works. #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
Yankees GM Brian Cashman says Masahiro Tanaka has a small tear in his UCL. Will have PRP injection. Yankees hope he's back in six weeks.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 11, 2014
Tanaka was seen by 3 doctors, none of whom have recommended surgery now. Rehab would take 6 weeks. If it fails, TJ surgery possible.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 11, 2014
Cashman says this injury never came up when Tanaka was examined in January before signing. #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
Kuty and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News had more from Brian Cashman:
"We are hopeful and optimistic" Tanaka will respond to rehab, Cashman says. "But there are no guarantees." #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
Cashman: "All three physicians conveyed that this is a SMALL tear in the ligament." Said if the recommendation had been TJ, he'd have TJ.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 11, 2014
#Yankees team doctor, James Andrews and another doc saw Tanaka, Cashman says— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
Feinsand relayed an update on Tanaka's injury from manager Joe Girardi:
Girardi said Tanaka will see Dr. Ahmad sometime later tonight. The Yankees should have a diagnosis to announce within 24 hours.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 10, 2014
Will Carroll of Bleacher Report reported on the next steps in Tanaka's diagnosis:
Tanaka has not yet seen team doctors. Will have MRI and exam done in Seattle where dr Ahmad is at conference.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) July 10, 2014
Hoch stated that Tanaka would be meeting with specialist Dr. Christopher Ahmad:
Masahiro Tanaka is flying to Seattle to see Dr. Christopher Ahmad. There is a conference there being attended by all the top orthopedics.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 10, 2014
The starting pitcher was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
Tanaka to DL with elbow inflammation, Girardi says.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 9, 2014
This was after the original report from George A. King III of the New York Post that Tanaka was going back to New York following his Tuesday start to have an MRI on his pitching arm:
Masahiro Tanaka flying back to NY for an MRI on his right arm, The Post has learned http://t.co/bKbWhn37nO— George A. King III (@GeorgeAKingIII) July 9, 2014
Bleacher Report's Will Carroll has more details on the nature of Tanaka's injury:
Inflammation on tanaka is in forearm. My source tells me his elbow passed manual tests.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) July 9, 2014
Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal reported more specifics:
Hearing on Tanaka that issue is in the forearm area. Obviously anything is bad/scary, but shoulder would be the worst.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 9, 2014
MLB PR reveals Tanaka's replacement in the All-Star Game:
Tanaka provided Bryan Hoch of MLB.com with a vague, cryptic response about his struggles against the Indians, which saw him give up a career-high 10 hits and five runs. "I do understand the reason why I was struggling today, but it’s really difficult for me to tell you why that was," he said.
Given all the injuries to New York's pitching staff this year—Joe Girardi has told Chad Jennings of LoHud.com that it's "fair to say" CC Sabathia is out for the rest of the season, Michael Pineda remains an enigma and Ivan Nova had Tommy John surgery—losing Tanaka for any amount of time is the last thing they can afford.
As Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted, Tanaka has been the only stable presence giving the Yankees quality innings this season.
#Yankees SP have produced 33 outs after 7th inning this yr, 25 by Tanaka. Without him, who gives quality or length consistently?— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 9, 2014
The Yankees spent nearly $500 million last winter on Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to compete for a playoff spot, yet injuries and poor performances have left the team hovering around .500 all season and fighting to stay in the wild-card race.
Now, with news about Tanaka, panic will likely set in over New York. The Yankees are fortunate that no one else in the American League East has pulled away, with Tampa Bay and Boston bringing up the rear, but they can only tread water so long before the boat breaks.