Updates from Sunday, Sept. 21
Yankees lineup: Gardner 8 Jeter DH McCann 2 Young 7 Headley 5 Cervelli 3 Drew 4 Ichiro 9 Ryan 6 Tanaka RHP— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 21, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Sept. 20
Jake Kring-Schreifels of MLB.com provides an update on Masahiro Tanaka's recovery and return:
After a successful bullpen session Thursday and some more long-toss throwing Friday, Masahiro Tanaka appears ready to make his first start since early July on Sunday.
Manager Joe Girardi indicated that he will limit Tanaka to about 70-75 pitches in his first outing back, but the circumstances may change based on how he feels.
George King of the New York Post shares additional details about Tanaka's imminent return:
The Yankees are hoping Masahiro Tanaka's start Sunday against the Blue Jays is the first of two before the season ends.
'If everything goes well Sunday he will start again,' manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees' 5-3 victory over Toronto on Friday.
Three simulated games, numerous bullpen sessions and countless games of catch later, Tanaka is ready to face big league hitters.
Girardi said the Yankees will wait to see how much rest Tanaka would have between Sunday's outing and a second start.
'Let's see where we are at and how he does on Sunday,' Girardi said. 'My initial inkling would be on his sixth day.'
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 16
YES Network's Jack Curry shares a major development regarding Tanaka's status:
Tanaka is tentatively scheduled to start for the Yankees on Sunday, Girardi told reporters.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) September 16, 2014
Buster Olney of ESPN provides his take on the decision:
Makes sense for NYY to pitch Tanaka. If it turns out he's hurt, he has Tommy John. If functional, he's lined up for '15. That info has value— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 16, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 15
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported on Masahiro Tanaka's simulated game:
Tanaka five innings, 4 K, 6 hits, 2 doubles, 0 walks. 65 pitches. Didn't look so good. #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 15, 2014
Chad Jennings of The Journal News passed along quotes from Tanaka following his outing:
'Feels good,” he said. “I feel alright.
Although Tanaka sounded satisfied that he’s generally healthy, he seemed less sold on the idea that his stuff is ready to pitch well in a big league game. He said his fastball topped
out at 92 mph. Asked whether he would tell Joe Girardi that he’s ready to pitch for the Yankees this weekend, Tanaka was noncommittal.
'I don’t know,” he said. “It’s hard to say.'
Joe Girardi also commented on Tanaka and his potential return to the Yankees (via Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News):
Girardi says it's "very possible" that Tanaka's next outing could be for the Yankees.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) September 15, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 10
CBS Sports' Mike Axisa has an update on Tanaka's progress:
Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will pitch in a minor league game on Monday, manager Joe Girardi told reporters. It will be his first actual game action since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament in early July.
Tanaka, 25, is scheduled to pitch in an Instructional League game since the minor league season is over. Girardi indicated that if Monday's outing goes well, Tanaka could rejoin the Yankees next weekend. No plans are finalized, however.
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 9
YES Network's Meredith Marakovits has an update on Tanaka's status:
Tanaka threw about 44pitches in sim game (3 innings) ... He will address the media shortly #yankees— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) September 9, 2014
ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews reports on when the team expects Tanaka to return:
Masahiro Tanaka could be one more rehab start away from returning to the major leagues, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday.
Tanaka, on the disabled list since July 9 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, threw a three-inning simulated game against four teammates at Yankee Stadium before Tuesday night's game against the Rays. Afterward, Girardi said Tanaka might need just one more start -- either another simulated game or perhaps an instructional league start in against minor leaguers in Tampa -- before making a big-league start for the Yankees.
"I think that's possible to look at," Girardi said.
Updates from Saturday, Sept. 6
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com provides an update on Masahiro Tanaka's status:
Masahiro Tanaka said his bullpen session went well. Threw 34 pitches. Hopes to pitch for #yankees this season.— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 6, 2014
Tanaka added that he feels a lot stronger. No more arm fatigue/soreness. #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 6, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News has the latest update on Masahiro Tanaka's rehab:
Girardi said Tanaka will throw a bullpen on Saturday.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) September 4, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2
Tanaka was placed on the 60-day disabled list, according to the Yankees' official Twitter feed:
#Yankees transfer RHP Masahiro Tanaka to 60-day DL; release RHP Matt Daley; designate OF Zoilo Almonte for assignment.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 2, 2014
Dan Martin of the New York Post passed along an update on Tanaka's rehab:
Larry Rothschild says Tanaka is "fine" after long toss and throwing off flat ground. Says yanks are going "day to day" with him.— Dan Martin (@DanMartin_Post) September 2, 2014
Chad Jennings of LoHud.com reported more on Tanaka's injured arm:
Tanaka, by the way, saw Dr. Ahmad and was diagnosed with "arm fatigue" so the Yankees still have some hope for him to come back this year.— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) September 2, 2014
Joe Girardi also commented on Tanaka (via Andrew Marchand of ESPN):
"Every manual test that they did came out really well," Girardi said. "They just said he had some arm fatigue and he is scheduled to throw a bullpen sometime this week. Hopefully, he is ready to do it."
Girardi had no timetable for when Tanaka possibly could be on a major league mound again. In 18 starts, Tanaka was 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA this season.
Updates from Sunday, Aug. 31
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported on the next steps for Masahiro Tanaka:
#Yankees want to see if Tanaka can strengthen the rest of his body enough to pitch with the partial tear. Wow. Sounds like ticking time bomb— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 31, 2014
Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
WFAN's Sweeny Murti has the latest on Tanaka's potential comeback:
Tanaka comeback is on hold after experiencing what Yankees say is "general arm soreness." Not specifically elbow.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 29, 2014
YES Network's Jack Curry has more:
Tanaka said the pain is "throughout the arm" and isn't specifically in elbow. Said that he wasn't worried.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) August 29, 2014
Tanaka said he wants to be cautious. He theorized the soreness could be from not throwing for a while and now trying to build arm strength.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) August 29, 2014
Tanaka is still hopeful of returning this season, noting Yankees have a month left. Said he will do arm strengthening and try to return.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) August 29, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on whether Joe Girardi believes Masahiro Tanaka will pitch again this season:
Girardi says he's optimistic that Tanaka will be able to return in Sept.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 28, 2014
Brian Hoch of MLB.com added details from Tanaka's throwing session and comments from the pitcher:
Tanaka threw 49 pitches in a three-inning simulated game, using his full repertoire to Brendan Ryan, who rode the early bus and batted from both sides of the plate. Ryan said that he thinks the rehabbing right-hander looks close to big league ready.
"The pinpoint [command] is probably going to be the last thing to come. I would expect that to be there pretty soon," Ryan said. "He can go out there and get outs now, just on stuff alone. The sooner the better. I'd say it was a pretty good day."
Tanaka said that he has been feeling only normal soreness, another good sign as he attempts to avoid Tommy John surgery. He expressed dissatisfaction with some of his pitches, having thrown his slider, splitter, curveball and both fastballs in the session.
"I think some of the balls I am throwing, I'm still not able to hit my spots," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "The rust is still there, so I still have some work to do to get back to game-ready."
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
Masahiro Tanaka will be taking the field tomorrow, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:
Early baseball at Comerica Park tomorrow: Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to throw a simulated game before matinee start of Yankees-Tigers.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 27, 2014
Updates from Friday, Aug. 23
Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com reports on Tanaka's rehab:
Tanaka and Rothschild both said Tanaka came through the BP well.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 23, 2014
Meredith Marakovitz of YES Network details how the session went:
Tanaka said his elbow felt fine. Doesn't think about it every pitch but is cautious overall. Said he's not saving anything with each pitch— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 23, 2014
Tanaka threw all his pitches.Wheeler said splitter still stands out. Looked the same as it did when he faced him in spring training #yankees— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 23, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 21
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports has the latest on Masahiro Tanaka:
For the first time since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament the week before the All-Star break, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will throw to hitters on Saturday, manager Joe Girardi announced. He is scheduled to throw a round of live batting practice.
Tanaka, 25, has been on a throwing program for several weeks and threw off a mound for the second time on Wednesday. That throwing session including breaking balls and splitters for the first time. He threw 35 pitches overall.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported on Tanaka's progress:
Masahiro Tanaka threw 35 pitches, fastball, curve, slider & 5splitters. Said everything feels fine. Next step would be BP, then sim game.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 20, 2014
After the game Tanaka talked through an interpreter about the outing, via Hoch.
"It went well," Tanaka said, "but it was actually my first time throwing breaking balls—something other than fastball—in the bullpen, so I felt it was a little bit rusty. I'll have to brush that up a little bit.
Girardi also shared his thoughts.
"The fact that he felt good today was encouraging," Girardi said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow; obviously that's really important. But he was able to throw his curveball, his slider and his split; I watched it and he looked pretty good."
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 16
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported that the session went well:
Masahiro Tanaka threw fastballs off a mound today, said that he was able to do it without pain. Hopes to throw breaking pitches next time.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 16, 2014
Hoch provided an update on Masahiro Tanaka's recovery:
Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to throw 25 pitches off of a bullpen mound on Saturday at Tropicana Field, which will mark the right-hander's first time throwing from the rubber since a July 8 start against the Indians.
"I still think it's early to tell, but we're getting through each step," manager Joe Girardi said. "Hopefully tomorrow goes well and we can move to the next step."
Tanaka threw long toss and performed fielding practice from the mound on Friday afternoon, and he said that actually throwing off the mound will be a crucial step in his recovery.
"I think so," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "If I can't throw the way I want to throw on a mound or in a bullpen, then there's no way I'll be able to throw that in a game. So, definitely the bullpen will be important."
Brandon Kuty of NJ.com shared more from Joe Girardi:
Joe Girardi said team's playoff hopes won't affect whether Tanaka tries return #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 16, 2014
Hoch provides Tanaka's take:
Masahiro Tanaka said that even if the Yankees are mathematically out of the race in September, he'd still want to come back and pitch.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 16, 2014
Updates from Friday, Aug. 15
David Waldstein of The New York Times has an encouraging update on Tanaka's status:
Masahiro Tanaka threw more pitches on flat ground and did PFP (pitchers fielding practice). His first bullpen is tomorrow!— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) August 15, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 13
ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews provides an update on Masahiro Tanaka's injury:
Just spoke with Tanaka's press liaison. Two words that will excite Yankee fans: "Pain's gone"— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) August 13, 2014
Tanaka is continuing his rehab with the team, according to Matthews:
That's Masahiro Tanaka out there, throwing from approx 120 feet pic.twitter.com/rligo0a3z8— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) August 13, 2014
Sweeny Murti of WFAN also had more on Tanaka:
Tanaka threw 10 fastballs on flat ground, feels no pain, feels he can pitch this year if things progress the way they should.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 13, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 7
MLB updated Masahiro Tanaka's status via its Twitter feed:
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has a rough estimate of when to expect Masahiro Tanaka's return, per Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal:
Yankees have a target date in mind for Tanaka return, Cashman admitted, but said "I'm not going to say it." said it's "Defintely" in Sept.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) August 5, 2014
"I wasn't worried, I think I was more excited to be able to throw," said Tanaka through an interpreter. "I think I got to the next step, so I'm every relieved about that."
"You look at it as a start, really," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Obviously, if there was discomfort, that would be very discouraging. So, it is a positive day. But there's still a long way to go, and you've got to plow through. He knows what he needs to do."
Meredith Marakovits of YES Network provides more details:
Tanaka threw again today ...50 throws at 60 feet... All went well #yankees— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 5, 2014
Updates from Monday, Aug. 4
Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti of WFAN in New York shared good news on Masahiro Tanaka's workout Monday:
Tanaka was sweaty and smiling after 50-pitch game of catch. Told me he felt good and no pain. First of many steps.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 4, 2014
Correction on throws for Tanaka. It was 25 throws from 60 feet. My Japanese must be rusty. Still felt good and encouraged.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 4, 2014
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported on the next step for Tanaka:
Masahiro Tanaka will throw again tomorrow #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 4, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Aug. 3
Sweeny Murti of WFAN reported on Masahiro Tanaka's rehab:
Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to play catch Mon. First step of many to see if he can avoid TJ surgery and pitch again this season.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 3, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, July 24
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke about Masahiro Tanaka and his rehab program (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com):
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 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 that 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
Kuty and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News had more from Brian Cashman:
Cashman says this injury never came up when Tanaka was examined in January before signing. #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
"We are hopeful and optimistic" Tanaka will respond to rehab, Cashman says. "But there are no guarantees." #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
#Yankees team doctor, James Andrews and another doc saw Tanaka, Cashman says— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 11, 2014
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
Feinsand relayed an update on Tanaka's injury from manager Joe Girardi:
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
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.