Tanaka “felt very good” throwing off mound for first time since injury

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Game 121: Beltran returns to the field

As expected, Masahiro Tanaka threw 25 fastballs in the bullpen this afternoon, his first time throwing off a mound since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament in early-July. “Today I was able to throw the way I wanted to,” he said to Marly Rivera. “I felt very good and all is headed in the right direction.”

According to Rivera, pitching coach Larry Rothschild cautioned they have to “see how he feels in a few days” before deciding on the next step. Tanaka indicated he would like to throw breaking balls next time out. Rothschild also said the “way the team plays has no impact on his rehab, cause it’s not worth it,” and he’s right. The Yankees have to do what’s best for Tanaka long-term and not grasp at the last straws of contention by rushing him back.

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Game 121: Beltran returns to the field
  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Rothschild would be exactly right. He’s ready when he’s ready. He’s not the lone key to the postseason.

    I don’t think there’d be a soul on here who’d disagree with that either.

    • MG

      He’s ready when he’s ready, I agree…

    • blake

      He’s not the lone key no but any chances they ever had of winning a title this year are gone if he can’t come back. If they get hot and make the playoffs somehow and he can pitch then they have a shot…..if he can’t then it’s close to 0% even if they get in IMO

  • cp7ny

    its great to see him coming back and we need all the arms we can get right now but the offense is embarrassing.

  • Terry Noack

    I don’t feel any need to rush him for absolutely nothing.. No playoffs in sight at this time.. Would make no sense at all to have him pitch!

    • blake

      I think you just proceed in an ideal way for his rehab and if the yanks get hot and his availability coincides with him coming back in September then fine…….but this point yea the #1 goal is just to shoot for opening day 2015

      • Giuseppe Franco

        The Yanks haven’t exactly had a good track record nursing injuries in recent years so I wouldn’t be opposed to shutting Tanaka down for the rest of this season.

  • Hankflorida

    They should never rush him back, but if he is found that he can still pitch without causing harm, they need him back with a healthy Pineda as I have seen teams with very little offense achieve championships. I just missed seeing the Hitless Wonders Whitesox but did get a heavy dose of Koufax and Drysdale do their thing against the Mantle Yankees. Our last remaining hope is goose eggs on the opponent’s board.

  • Frittoman626

    I think it will be best to have Tanaka not return this season and to instead look towards 2015. This Yankees team isn’t a team that looks like they’ll make the playoffs, so Tanaka shouldn’t rush.

    • InvalidUserID

      This. 1000% this. If this was the last year of Tanaka’s contract, go for it. But they’re with him for the long haul.

    • GregD

      they need him to come back to determine if he needs surgery….if he can pitch a few games with no problems…then no surgery in the offseason

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    It’s just a damn shame that, at a time when Pineda has returned and the news on Tanaka is optimistic, is when this team is perilously close to spinning completely out of the playoff race. It sucks because, really, a Tanaka, Pineda, McCarthy, Kuroda, and Greene rotation is one I would definitely go to war with, but by the time it may even what the rotation is, it could be too late to save the season.

    • Giuseppe Franco

      That’s a fair point, but really, it hasn’t mattered who the Yanks had in the rotation this season because they’ve done a pretty good job all season.

      What has really mattered though is the lack of offense has single-handedly killed this team’s chances of October Baseball.

      Maybe Cashman was full of shit when he said that pitching was the key to the kingdom.

  • RetroRob

    So has there been a follow-up MRI? They diagnosed the original injury with an MRI, so I’m wondering if they’ve done one since the injection to see if it truly on the mend?

    • TB

      Rob they should to see how the PRP treatment worked.. Its not like an MRI causes any radiation of any kind…

  • RetroRob

    The Yankees seem like they want to see him pitch this season, be they in contention or not.

    https://twitter.com/DanBarbarisi/status/500705928757653504

  • Austinmac

    I’m sure Tanaka and the team want to know if he can pitch. If he can, both can breathe easier over the winter. If not, they know now with months of off season ahead to begin surgical recovery. Maybe they can make that determination without actually pitching in a game.

  • JimK

    Despite the loss of 80% of their starting rotation, pitching has not been the issue with the 2014 Y’s, and unless Tanaka returns as a 25 YO version of Matsui, his return to the Y’s is largely irrelevant.

  • Hankflorida

    We were are talking 2nd Wildcard and Tanaka and Pineda can make up for an anemic offense and get us to a one game playoff. Without them, it is wait till next year as a definite with no ifs, ands or buts!

  • GregD

    We aren’t going anywhere even if Tanaka comes back if we don’t start hitting

  • stuart

    A positive post. the good things that have happened this season for the yanks; tanaka, betances, Robertson(he will be back next year 1 way or another), gardner, ? marks are greene, pineda, Mitchell, rogers, jr murphy, and others. really offense and position players is the whole story in the offseason….

  • CashmanNinja

    I think they should play it safe with Tanaka. If they’re convinced he’s 100% healthy (without a very strong chance of the injury getting much worse) then let him pitch, but I have absolutely no problem if they hold him out for the rest of the year. It’s better to be safe than sorry and losing him next year would be catastrophic.

  • TB

    Good to hear but we all know the real test is how he feels after pitching in a game when he is throwing 100 pitches

  • Bigdan

    I think the Yanks, by planning on Tanaka pitching next month, are actually focused on 2015, not their diminishing playoff hopes this year. If I understand what Michelle and others experienced in this area have said, this is the appropriate protocol for treating a partial tear. I don’t believe shutting Tanaka down for a period of months improves his chances of recovery. And there isn’t any MRI or other diagnostic tool that will prove that the tear is healed. That comes from examinations and various strength tests, probably the most important being throwing in a live game. Essentially, if the pain is gone, he’s healed. But the final test won’t be until he gets in a game.

  • Hankflorida

    Going back to Florida in September means I do not get any Yankee games if they are not in contention. If Tanaka is on the mound, there is a chance that elimination from the 2nd Wildcard may not come till the last week of the season. With Tanaka, ” They coulda been a contender.”

    • Giuseppe Franco

      Truthfully, I’m not so sure about that.

      This was a .500 team with Tanaka and that hasn’t changed since he’s been injured.

      • JimK

        Agree

    • ltdibo020

      Hank…u could probably get mlb.com for just a few dollars and watch the yanks in florida like i do…I don’t miss a game all year down here…I actually bought a roku so I can watch it on my big tv…so good luck…just didn’t know if u knew that…Bill

    • TB

      Hank don’t miss Derek Jeter Day man…That’s a must for all yankee fans

  • YankeeFan™

    i want Tanaka back this year just to see if hes really healthy, i don’t want him coming in next spring training needing tommy John and missing all of next year and some of 2016.

  • Farewell Mo

    Definitely good news. Whether he comes back this year or ST, not losing Tanaka for an entire year would be a huge positive

  • Preston

    The real test is the first time he throws a breaking ball. Fingers crossed.

    • CashmanNinja

      His splitter will be the real one since it’s like a fastball, but adds more strain on the elbow because of the delivery. Fingers and toes crossed. But this is still very good news none-the-less.