Tanaka has partially torn elbow ligament, rehab recommended

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

After traveling from Cleveland to New York to Seattle within the last 48 hours, Masahiro Tanaka‘s elbow was finally examined by team Dr. Ahmad on Thursday night. Brian Cashman confirmed his ace right-hander has been diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament by Ahmad and two other doctors. All three recommended rehab — not Tommy John surgery — because the tear is small.

Tanaka, 25, will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection on Monday and eventually begin a throwing program. If all goes well, he could be back on a mound within six weeks, so the best case scenario has him back in pinstripes in late-August. Cashman noted other pitchers in the organization have successfully rehabbed from similar tears without saying who those pitchers were. Surgery can not be completely ruled out until the rehab program is complete. Here is what Cashman said during his conference call, courtesy of Chad Jennings:

“He has seen three physicians, our chief physician, Chris Ahmad, David Altchek and he has seen Neil elAttrache. All three are in agreement with a diagnosis of a new injury; a partially torn ligament in his throwing arm. The recommendation on the treatment is a rehab protocol that would begin with one PRP injection and a throwing program after an exercise routine. The ligament tear in question is considered small and we, the Yankees, have had success with pitchers that have had this.

“It doesn’t rule out the possibility of Tommy John (surgery) in a failed attempt, but all three doctors agree on the diagnosis and the rehab protocol. We are going to follow their recommendation and none of them recommend surgery at this time. They’re all hopeful that in roughly maybe a six-week period that we will have a pitcher back if he responds positively.”

The most notable example of a pitcher who successfully rehabbed a partially torn ligament is Adam Wainwright, who was able to continue pitching for a half-decade before going under the knife. Ervin Santana has pitched with a partially torn ligament the last few years as well. The odds are strongly in favor of Tanaka needing elbow reconstruction at some point in his career — once a ligament tears, it’s usually only a matter of time before it goes completely — but Cashman said all three doctors do not feel surgery is necessary at this point.

I understand the fear that all they’re doing is delaying the inevitable by trying rehab, but given where they are in the season, having the surgery now would likely knock Tanaka out until sometime next August. Three doctors all agree surgery is avoidable and that Tanaka has a chance to return to the mound this season. Surgery is always the last resort — you don’t want to cut into the elbow of a world class pitcher unless you absolutely have to — and if there’s a possibility it can be avoided, they have to try.

Now, obviously the injury hurts the Yankees on the field immensely. Tanaka was by far the club’s best pitcher and they were already without CC Sabathia (knee), Michael Pineda (shoulder), and Ivan Nova (elbow). None of those four is returning anytime soon. Somehow 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda is the only member of the Opening Day rotation left standing. Tanaka’s partially torn ligament is not the worst case scenario, but losing him for at least six weeks is a devastating blow to a pitching staff already thinned by injury.

Categories : Injuries


  1. Ricky says:

    season over, pack it up

    • Derek Jeter says:

      I agree… Rehab never works, Tommy john puts him out almost all next year unless he gets it done TODAY. Rebuild now!

  2. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    Should be back after the All Star break.

  3. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    Didn’t Matt Harvey have a partially torn ligament

  4. kenthadley says:

    How many “partially torns” have healed completely without further problems via rehab? Just curious if anyone here is aware of other examples. Seems to me that when we hear of partially torns, within a period of time we hear of TJ.

  5. PoopChute says:

    This news is even worse than a complete tear… If it was torn badly then he could just have the surgery and be back in the later part of next year… Now we’ll wait 6 weeks, he’ll come back for a few starts, completely tear the ligament, and then have his TJS and miss all of next year.


  6. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    Start the rehab now, they’re doing just fine without him. Solarte’s back to give the offense a boost. Zelous is giving us power, Frankie’s been on base twice tonight. Greene, McCarthy and BGDP are going to win this series in Cleveland.

  7. TWTR says:

    I hope he makes a full recovery, and does whatever is necessary to achieve that, no matter how long it takes.

  8. ChristisKing says:

    At some point you just have to laugh.. You’d think that age was the cause of the Yankees having so many injuries, but Pineda is young, Nova is young, Tanaka is young, it’s just crazy….

    I wonder what is up with these guys…. It almost seems like injuries have become more part of the game than they were a long time ago… And those guys would throw 130 pitches and can go again 2 days later.

    • Yan Solo says:

      I think Nolan Ryan has some valid beef about pitchers today. Then again, it’s not the same game he was pitching in I’m afraid.

    • bonestock94 says:

      In the past, they weren’t throwing this hard for the most part. Both hitters and pitchers are way more powerful these days, training has come a long way. I guess it hasn’t come long enough to deal with the new levels of strain on these arms, though.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I do wonder what people think about some of what David Cone had to say last night about pitchers trying to put more movement on the ball than ever before and how, twenty years ago, guys who threw two-seamers were instantly put in the bullpen. Are we overcomplicating pitching to the point where it’s hurting our young men? I have no clue, but some of it resonated with me where both Ryan and Verducci equally make little sense to me sometimes.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Are we overcomplicating pitching to the point where it’s hurting our young men?


        Maybe. Just look at how many different pitches pitchers throw at different angles with different grips and speeds now a days. Add that to the length of the season and a long post season. It starts to take a toll after a while.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Then they should really take a hard fucking look at what they’re letting young pitchers throw.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            Coming off the steroid era I think organizations started to take an aggressive approach with pitchers. Offense was so one sided it needed to be balanced out. So now it wasn’t just a variety of pitches being thrown but also throwing harder as well. I remember listening to Colin Cowherd one day and he talked about how many pitchers throw harder today as compared to yrs past. He felt it wasn’t just relievers but starting pitchers as well lighting up the radar gun. Factor that into breaking pitchers falling off the table and you can see why the injuries may begin to pile up. And there are a number of ex pitchers who believe to many of today’s pitchers do use their legs enough when pitching and relying too much on their arms.

        • Broll the American says:

          I believe the strike zone needs to be increased to include pitches up to the letters (as it says in the rule book). Pitches belt high are considered balls today.
          Today’s zone is too small and is entirely within the sweet spot of the hitter. If a pitcher tries to pitch within the zone they have to either be completely over powering or have crazy movement on the pitch. A higher strike zone would allow pitchers to achieve strikes with an average 4-seam fastball.

          With a higher zone the batter loses some advantage.

          I think you’d see less pitches thrown, less injuries, more batters ready to swing and faster games. While you might see less offensive, you might see it even out as a pitcher misses the high zone a bit low with an 89mph 4-seamer and the hitter jumps on it.

        • Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

          The irony is that Cone was the king of arm angles, mixing speeds, etc.

      • Umbrelladoc says:

        No one knows how to prevent pitching injuries. It’s the holy grail of sabermetrics right now.


  9. Honestly, my basic tendency is to think that tears don’t fix themselves; they need surgery at some point or another. The instant I heard “tear” of any kind, my heart was sunk.

    • Pasqua says:

      Actually, partial ligament tears DO fix themselves, assuming nothing is done to worsen the original injury. Case in point, MCL tears in the knee can heal-up with time.

  10. alittleblackegg says:

    Sounds like 6-8 weeks and a mid-August return as the best case scenario. Grim. Really grim. Cashman should play for 2015 or 2016 – that is, if ownership and the fans will let him…

  11. Chris in Durham says:

    Please Cash, do not Buy! Sell, Promote some kids and lets position the team for the future.

  12. Soylent Greene (former Electric Nunez ll) says:

    You’ve lost something off your fastball , Eddard (trollball?)
    Just kind of giving self-consciously predictable, play-to-the-crowd, rote comments these days.

    You might need some rehab in the trolling minors yourself…

  13. Ron says:

    Didn’t both campos and manny have partial tears. Then they waited a year and still had tj surgery.

  14. Ethan says:

    Pretty much how I feel: http://m.imgur.com/YY00eQz

  15. Charles says:

    And they’re fucked, they should sell but they won’t. They’ll be a mediocre team just like last year sadly.

    • Old Man Time says:

      What are they going to sell that will actually benefit the team for next year and beyond?

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Drob seems to be the guy fans are willing to move.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Maybe we should move some of the fans.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            lol and they want Dellin to close. It’s a little too early for that move.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              The one silver lining of the potential other half of my suckiest sports week ever would be that, if Lebron were to actually leave to Cleveland, we’d lose all the bandwagon fans once and for all and people would just leave my fucking team alone.

              We could lose a few spoiled Yankee fans here and there.

              • Chip Rodriguez says:

                I thought we lost a number last year.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                  We could stand to lose a few more. It’ll just mean the rest of will have to work hard to repopulate the earth with Yankee fans.

              • Farewell Mo says:

                LBJ the first rat off the ship
                Losing the bandwagon fans as a silver lining is sure a pretty big stretch. Welcome to lottery ville with us Knicks fans.

              • The Big City of Dreams says:

                Yea Lebron going back to CLE would great for the die hard Heat fans. It would be funny to see the June 2010 Heat riders look for a new team to follow :D.

              • Hey Blue says:

                That means you would have to stop being a Heat fan too.

                BTW. No worries on Tanaka right?? Pointless for everyone to freak out yesterday right?? You IDIOT

            • qwerty says:

              There’s no question that Dellin is the better pitcher on just about every level. Make him the closer and let Robertson go.

  16. TopChuckie says:

    Merideth mentioned Wainwright, did he come back from a tear without TJ?

    • n0exit says:

      5 seasons with partial tear. Also Ervin Santana pitched with it. All depends on your pain threshold. Many pitchers have been pitching with elbow soreness for many years, but now they can see in full HD every single strand inside your body so the soreness is accompanied by a diagnosis.

  17. Jimmy says:

    Isn’t a partially torn elbow ligament what caused Banuelos to miss pretty much 2 whole seasons because of the time wasted trying to rehab it before finally giving up and having the surgery?

  18. Bob Michaels says:

    Tanaka should ask Venditte for advice on how to pitch using his left hand

  19. jcruz says:

    Well if the past is any indication of the future of tanaka, the yanks should know this will more than likely lead to surgery. Pelfrey, Harvey and Nova have all had partially torn ucl’s and they all had Tommy John surgery.

    • rbibaseball says:

      Yeah but Nova’s partial tear was worse, and it had more obvious effects. His command was awful at the beginning of year.

  20. Grant says:

    As long as it’s a really small tear the body can repair the ligament with scar tissue. The prp injection just speeds up the process. A cortisone shot would actually inhibit ligament healing because you need the body’s inflammation to activate. But I too am interested in how many mlb pitchers have come back from this and never had a reoccurrence. I’m sure surgery would not be necessary for average Joe, but to load that ligament with mlb pitching stresses is another story. I bet we see him under the knife with this. It’s a damn shame because his stuff is electric and he was one of the few reasons I watched the Yanks this season. Not to mention going forward with our ace pitcher for the next five years is doubtful now. This sucks.

  21. wilcymoore27 says:

    My guess is that no one on this board is an orthopedic surgeon. I have to assume that with rehab a small ligament tear can be overcome. Let’s just see what happens.

    • qwerty says:

      The UCL does not heal, the point of rehab is to strengthen the muscles around the ligament, not the ligmament itself.

      • n0exit says:

        This is completely wrong. Ask the university of Phoenix to refund the fees on your MD.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          The University of Phoenix actually pays really well. You’d be surprised at how many good professors who can’t find tenure track jobs wind up teaching a few online classes here and there on it.

  22. tom says:

    what is the difference between Nova and Tanaka?

  23. ChristisKing says:

    For whatever reason, the Yankees are not given the luxury to rebuild… It’s just not allowed in New York, especially with that kind of budget… I get this sickening feeling that Cashman is about to GUT the farm to pick up some guy who will have some silly contract or be just as injury prone as anyone else…

    • Old Man Time says:

      When was the last time he “gutted” the farm?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        You know….that one season….

        • ChristisKing says:

          Im saying… Our farm system has been pretty bad for a while.. I remember when the big man on campus was supposed to be Eric Duncan…. We have just never had a deep farm system… Now it’s becoming a little more exciting and with the MLB team getting decimated with injuries, they could get desperate.. You know teams will not give the Yankees a break..

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            For the most part, the Yankees have not had a good farm system well back into the 1970′s. There’s nothing new going on here. Go to B-Ref and start looking at drafts, year after year.

            Hell, look at other team’s drafts as well. You won’t feel so bad after that.

            You’re saying they “could get desperate,” but the type of desperation you’re talking about has NEVER occurred. It’d be just as likely that they all grow tits.

  24. CashmanNinja says:

    Even if it’s partially torn with just a small tear…I say just get him under the knife ASAP. 9 times out 10 these rehab stints do NOTHING except prolong the inevitable. Just bite the bullet and do it now instead of dicking around.

  25. Umbrelladoc says:

    Here’s one reason to be optimistic.

    This study from last year shows an 88% success rate with PRP. This is from the Kerlan-Jobe group.
    Treatment of partial ulnar collateral ligament tears in the elbow with platelet-rich plasma.
    Podesta L1, Crow SA, Volkmer D, Bert T, Yocum LA.
    Author information

    Studies have demonstrated the potential of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to heal damaged tissue. To date, there are no published reports of clinical outcomes of partial ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tears of the elbow treated with PRP.
    Platelet-rich plasma will promote the healing of partial UCL tears and allow a return to play.
    Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
    Thirty-four athletes with a partial-thickness UCL tear confirmed on magnetic resonance imaging were prospectively followed. All patients had failed at least 2 months of nonoperative treatment and an attempt to return to play. Baseline questionnaires, including the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Shoulder and Elbow (KJOC) and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) measures, were completed by each patient before injection. Baseline ultrasound measurement of the humeral-ulnar joint space was assessed with 10 lb of valgus stress on the elbow. Each patient received a single type 1A PRP injection at the UCL under ultrasound guidance. The same treating physician at a single institution performed all injections with the same PRP preparation used. Patients completed a course of guided physical therapy and were allowed to return to play based on their symptoms and physical examination findings. Outcome scores, including KJOC and DASH scores, were collected after return to play and were compared with baseline scores. Ultrasound measurements were collected at final follow-up and compared with preinjection values.
    At an average follow-up of 70 weeks (range, 11-117 weeks), 30 of 34 athletes (88%) had returned to the same level of play without any complaints. The average time to return to play was 12 weeks (range, 10-15 weeks). The average KJOC score improved from 46 to 93 (P < .0001). The average DASH score improved from 21 to 1 (P < .0001). The sports module of the DASH questionnaire improved from 69 to 3 (P < .0001). Medial elbow joint space opening with valgus stress decreased from 28 to 20 mm at final follow-up (P < .0001). The difference in medial elbow joint space opening (stressed vs nonstressed) decreased from 7 to 2.5 mm at final follow-up (P < .0001). One player had persistent UCL insufficiency and underwent ligament reconstruction at 31 weeks after injection.
    The results of this study indicate that PRP is an effective option to successfully treat partial UCL tears of the elbow in athletes.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Thank you.

      • tom says:

        Non pitching athletes have successful results. Just hold your breath.

        • Grant says:

          I agree.
          Non pitchers probably fare much much better.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            They go back to not pitching 100% of the time.

            • Grant says:

              I’ll look for a study on this procedure for position players that went on to having long pitching careers after injections. Give me a few minutes on that one.

        • Umbrelladoc says:

          Just looked at the paper. Of the 34 athletes, 16 were pitchers. Even if all 4 athletes that didn’t respond were pitchers (it doesn’t say) that is still 12/16 or 75%.

          • n0exit says:

            Hahaha “read the study”. People here don’t want to reason. They want to be hysterical. Thank you for trying though, its really informative.

    • Vern Sneaker says:

      Let’s hope for the best. How sad, tho. I just love watching him pitch.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks for the article.
      I just wonder how long the study tracked these players after successful reintroduction to playing real games. I bet 88 percent didn’t make it a full year without recurrent symptoms. But if many of them did, than that’s a great sign. We can hope he comes back this season to give it a try so surgery can be performed now instead of after a few starts next year when we go through this all over again.

      • Umbrelladoc says:

        The paper is from last year, so there isn’t going to be much long term follow up. That’s the kind of thing that might be presented at that conference all the orthopedists were attending.

      • Umbrelladoc says:

        Actually, it’s there. “At an average follow-up of 70 weeks (range, 11-117 weeks), 30 of the 34 athletes (88%) had returned to play without any complaints.”

    • TopChuckie says:

      “The average time to return to play was 12 weeks (range, 10-15 weeks).”

      That’s the rest of the season.

      • Grant says:

        I don’t see how we can give it a try with rehab still within this season.
        So next year is basically a complete wash when it starts to act up again and we have to have surgery during the season.
        With all of our pitchers falling apart, let’s just call Pat Venditte up so he can have TJ surgery on alternating arms after they fall apart.

    • John Cee says:

      I recall an article from late last year or early this year citing docs have been more conservative with UCL tears as of late. It makes sense not to cut into somebody if a successful, less invasive approach for treatment exists.

      Waiting 12 weeks or so is worth the risk to get him back 100% this season. It looks like we’ll know the results by mid-September.

  26. tom says:

    Copy and paste from other site.

    RHP Andy Beresford: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
    The 6’7″ right-hander pitched to a 5.06 ERA in 10.2 innings for Charleston earlier this season. Last year, he had a 1.80 ERA here with a 19/5 K/BB ratio over 30 innings. He is already 24 years old (he was a fifth year senior last year for UNLV, and the oldest player the Yankees drafted last year). He has already undergone one Tommy John surgery – when he returned from that, he tore his UCL again on his first pitch. He opted for an alternative therapy (PRP) and became UNLV’s closer. Anyway, as you would suspect with his height, he throws hard (mid-90s) but the secondary stuff is below average.

    So that is one. Who others?

  27. Nathan says:

    I think I would have liked either good news or bad news but this is sort of maybe good news, maybe bad news…check back in six weeks.

  28. ruralbob says:


  29. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Jesus Fucking Christ. The only fucking one of you making any goddamn sense here right now is Kenthadley, who actually asked the only question which needs to be asked here, and that’s what the success rate of rehab and plasma injections is and examples of who’s gone through it successfully.

    The rest of you just want any little excuse to tell others that the team’s going to lose. With fans like you, who needs haters. I might as well be talking to a bunch of Sox fans.

    So Adam Wainwright and a college kid. Who else do we know of.

    It’s not good news, no matter, and know what? It’s time for American baseball to take a hard damn look at itself and what it’s doing to its young pitchers. Seeing young pitcher after young pitcher go down like this sours me on this sport, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This sport has changed, and it’s not for the best. Melodramatic? Perhaps, but I’m sick of watching young pitchers get hurt like this, even if it’s just a partial tear this time.

    Get well, ace, I will be very hopeful that we see you in six weeks. The rest of you better hold down the damn fort for him. GO FUCKING YANKEES.

  30. Need Pitching & Hitting says:

    A quote from Girardi after Nova’s injury:

    “I think it’s the right decision,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I haven’t really seen anyone rehab a partially torn ligament and have success. It seems what it does is just delay the inevitable of what’s going to happen. Then instead of maybe missing a year and a little bit of time, you miss a couple of years.”


    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      So my follow-up question here is whether there’s a difference between the two tears.

      If Girardi said that about Nova, and they go a different route with Tanaka, it is a bit confusing for sure.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        There was apparently a difference.
        The doctors recommended surgery for Nova, but not for Tanaka.
        I’m sure Girardi wasn’t consulted in this decision anyways.

        • tom says:

          Delia hinted Tanaka did not need TJS right away because he did not lose any velocity and then feel a pop in his elbow like Nova did.

          Little pop = TJS.

          discomfort = rehab.

          Technically, you are correct about degree of tear.

  31. MUIDATS EEKNAY says:

    Even if he does manage to completely heal with rehab, there’s the question of, how’d he manage to tear it so easily in the first place? He didn’t have the tear in his pre-contract MRI. So the fact that this comes up after 3 months in the majors isn’t a great sign for his durability.

  32. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    Phelps pitches a gem but in comes Thorton and coughs it all up like he’s done all season. This combined with the Tanaka news means that the season is over. I’d sell everything we can and see what some of the AAA kids can give us over these last 10 weeks. Fire Cashman, the trainers and Kevin Long.

  33. tom says:

    So Tanaka is eligible for 60 day DL. Take a time and find good deal to get SP.

  34. EndlessJose says:

    I don’t want to give up the season but if we can get a good return on Robertson and Gardner than we have to try.

    Tired of seeing the Red Sox not make the postseason badly and benefit(draft or trades) from it.

    • Old Man Time says:

      Why weaken the team for the next few seasons by trading those two?

      • MB923 says:

        Robertson may leave after this year. Don’t rule it out. Many great teams still don’t have great bullpens (Angels and Tigers for instance). Trading him wouldn’t be the worst idea.

    • Grant says:

      I’m just going to wait five years for the international draft players to pan out. I hear soccer is really fun to watch.

  35. tom says:

    General manager Brian Cashman said that the doctors involved and the Yankees themselves have had success with this protocol for this level of ligament tear.pecialists in Seattle,New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL. He will receive an injection and begin a rehab program but will not have surgery, at least not right now.

    Does it sound like Nova had different doctor? Did Dr. Admad ever monitor Nova’s injury track prior to the Dr. Andrews operation.

  36. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    So Wainwright and the college pitchers underwent the procedure, but already had the surgery previously?

    What is the precedent for pitchers who had not previously had the surgery with the rehab?

  37. Farewell Mo says:

    I recall Pettitte pitching for a few years with a partial UCL tear problem is eventually it’s likely to
    Need surgery at some point so when that time comes it’s never gonna be convenient to lose him
    For 12+ months.

    • TWTR says:

      As far as I know, he did for his entire career. When he had surgery after checking his swing in Houston, it was on the tendon, iirc.

      • Ed says:

        Yup, Pettitte’s surgery was for the flexor tendon. Freak injury caused by an awkward swing. The ligament held up fine after the initial scare in ’02.

    • John says:

      College pitcher here. Partially tore ligament and pitched with it for about 6 weeks, made 4 starts and 2 relief appearances. Can be done, but I eventually tore it and had to undergo TJS.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Did you undergo any sort of alternate treatment, though, or are you referring to the amount of time you tried to pitch through it?

  38. Yankee Rehab says:

    Maybe I’m just looking for someone to be angry with right now, and I know pitching injuries are more prevalent in the game today, but how in the fuck does every young yankee pitching prospect end up with a serious injury…Joba, Hughes, Banuelos, Nova, Pineda, Tanaka…even Chien Ming-Wang. I know his initial injury was a freak injury, but his career was really fucked after they moved him to the bullpen short term in 09 then needed him to start and he hurt his shoulder.

    Is all of this pitch count and innings over the year before just a load of shit? What is it? The strength and training program in the offseason? The throwing program in the offseason? What these guys are doing between starts? No one paying attention to their bodies? No one monitoring their mechanics through film study for slight alterations throughout the course of the season?

    You’d think they’d have the money to be on the cutting edge of injury prevention instead of just relying on studies of pitchers in the past which only show some correlation between innings pitched over the year before and likelihood of injury.

    I don’t know what the fuck it is. It can’t just be a coincidence though. I’ll believe something is a coincidence when it’s just one or two or even three odd occurrences. But 7? Fuck! Someone talk me off the ledge…

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Let’s give this a shot….

      It’s absolutely not just Yankee pitchers. Put yourself in the shoes of an Atlanta Braves fan right now, or of a Rangers fan.

      The rate of increased injury is alarming everywhere. Again, I found David Cone’s comments last night about pitchers trying to put more movement on the ball than ever before to be fascinating. I’ve always found that the idea of specialization being a factor, or that we’re someone developing a generation of wimpier pitching, to just not sound right.

  39. Dan says:

    Fucking sell.

    • Old Man Time says:

      Again, what are they going to sell that will actually improve the team over the next few seasons?

      • Sell says:

        Gardner, Ichrio, Kud, Sol, Ellsbury

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          And what exactly would you get for them which would put the team in a better position? Please.

        • Old Man Time says:

          Gardner is your best position player, followed by Ellsbury. Ichiro, Kuroda, Solarte won’t net you anything you don’t already have stashed in the minors.

          • Dan says:

            There is risk involved in every minor leaguer. The larger, more diverse group you have, the better chance you can minimize the risk as a whole and improve your chances of someone becoming the real deal. Say, by trading the guys who have value, they’re able to get 5 new guys in their top 20. That would be great for the future of the franchise–it makes it more likely you develop an impact player.

            For potential tradeable assets, I see: Robertson, Gardner, Kuroda, Ellsbury, Betances, McCann, Ichiro, Phelps, and Roberts as guys who are potentially moveable (depending on eating salary where necessary and waiving NTCs). Granted they all have varying degrees of value. But, between those guys they could definitely diversify their farm system and put themselves in position to rebuild.

            • Old Man Time says:

              Ichiro is not an asset, period. Roberts? C prospect at most.

              Kuroda will not waive his NTC unless it’s to a couple of west coast teams which lowers the Yankee’s leverage in obtaining anything better than what they have stashed in the minors.

              If you trade Phelps, who takes his place? The team is already down 4 starters.

              Drob, Gardner, Ellsbury, McCann can be kept and built around.

          • Dan says:

            Also, remember, it’s a huge sellers market right now because so many teams are in it. If the Yankees cut their losses they could get a premium on all of their guys. Again, we’re talking about varying value for each guy, but say they can get $1.10 on the dollar for each guy—that would be huge.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Why, Cervelli and DAN for Wacha, Taveras, Piscotty, and Wong.

      • Dan says:

        I don’t think they should be so short sighted and look at it for the next year or two. This team doesn’t have a good core of players. The reason the 2009 FA spree worked was because that team had a decent core. They should be thinking three years from now–that is the minimum amount of time it will take to get a young core together. You can wheel and deal and improve your system and make trades to fill in assets where necessary. They need a rebuild, no FAs in the next couple of years are going to make this team a World Series contender.

        And yes, it’s a fair point that some rebuilds don’t work at all and you end up out of the playoffs for 20 years. But the Yankees have the benefit of financial might. When it’s time, they can spend. If the rebuild doesn’t work, they can spend and at least get back to the point they’re at now.

        • Old Man Time says:

          If they have to spend to get back to the point they’re at now, then why sell and dip below that for years?

          • Dan says:

            Because they could rebuild a core in the meantime and actually build a team that can compete for a WS (and have an average age under 30 while doing it). It’s a gamble that could lead to them being an elite team if it works out. It’s a rebuild. Ideally they won’t have to spend $500m in an offseason anytime in the foreseeable future if it works out. I nearly have the worst case scenario.

  40. Deep Thoughts says:

    Lost in all this is what does A-Rod think about it?

  41. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I just scrolled back up and read Mike’s updated post. Thank you for keeping us updated, and for what’s really an excellent write-up on the topic. You may think their watchability is a two, but your readability’s a ten.

  42. Farewell Mo says:

    Interesting article by Buster Olney today the gist of which is that many felt it was inevitable that Tanaka break down since the split finger fastball is felt to be an elbow killer and he’s thrown by far the highest percentage among MLB pitchers.

    If that’s true, I wonder if the elbow is gonna hold up with a partial tear given the pitch that makes him special is the splitter and he’s gonna have to throw it frequently to be effective

    • JAG says:

      I really don’t know what to think about the splitter. Pitchers in the US seem to shy away from it, but Tanaka’s hardly alone when it comes to throwing it in Japan. There are also examples of guys like Schilling who threw it for years or careers here without problems. Not to mention the fact that the huge slew of pitchers who got injured this year can’t be attributed to the splitter since most of them don’t throw one.

      I’m with Jorge, I think there’s got to be something going on with how young pitchers are handled and trained that is the cause or at least a contributing factor to all these injuries.

  43. Rolling Doughnut says:

    Jorge Steinbrenner on the preceeding article says he will give all the regulars here a free taco meal from his taco stand if the Yankees make the playoffs. Can I get a burrito instead, as tacos give me gas.

  44. Derek Jeter says:

    REHAB NEVER WORKS!!!!!!!! There goes this season and next!! REBUILD

  45. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Si, Y Si. The Jap pitcher es finito por the anos. Synoara.. He can use dental floss for a blindfold.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      The fakes have definitely arrived.

      • hornblower says:

        Jorge, let them jump off the bridge. I lived through the late sixties. They have had a good run and will be back quickly. No reason not to play some young guys now and see if they have what it takes. Tanaka only pitched one day a week. Games like tonight they have to win. They had several chances to tack on a run and didn’t. They usually get a good six innings out of all their starters. Maybe a few more runs will help. I’m looking forward to watching them if they jettison some of the aged guys and play young.

  46. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    How’s about asking what A Rod is doing lately, maybe he can pitch.

  47. Farewell Mo says:

    Moron Latino!! And YEAH, that’s me!!

  48. Old Man Time says:

    Meanwhile, Jim Miller’s ligaments maintain the tensile strength of carbon fibers.

  49. Dan says:

    Lot’s of “fucks” in these comments. Has to be a record number for a RAB article.

  50. willie w says:

    I don’t know why cashman isn’t consulting with the fans
    certainty they know more than three of the worlds leading doctors in this field.

  51. ClayDavis says:

    Maybe it’s time to hire a medical staff that knows what the fuck they are doing. Terrified they’ll fuck this one up just like everyone else

  52. villapalomares says:

    Will Carroll’s take on Tanaka’s injury: it’s his mechanics.


  53. Tuscan Chicken says:

    The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles knew!

    Cashman failed.

  54. Pinedamaybegreata(formerlyMonterowasdinero) says:

    I am in the camp that rehab will fail…that there is tremendous pre$$ure to bring Tanaka back this year without surgery. The docs feel it too. They are human and as long as there is a thread of a ligament of a chance to pitch without surgery they will go with it. We will see Tanaka pull a Strasburg and be calling the trainer out to take him out of the game sometime in August or September. Brace yourselves….

    Maybe Pineda and CC come back strong in ’15!!!

  55. Bronx Boy says:

    NOTE: 3 of the top surgeons in the world all agreed – rehab without surgery. What you have the team do? Ignore the doctors?

  56. Holy Ghost says:

    It seems like just yesterday we all felt like pitching would be the team’s strength this season. Time to write this season off as a loss and start rebuilding for next season.

  57. Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

    Spice mines of Kessel.

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