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Monday, August 4, 2014

Yankees Injury Update: Masahiro Tanaka throws 25 pitches with no problems

By on 8/04/2014 05:00:00 PM

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was “relieved” to throw 25 pitches at 60 feet with no pain in his elbow on Monday, reports Jack Curry of YES Network:

Tanaka has not pitched since July 8 after an MRI revealed a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. Rather than electing to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, Tanaka decided to try and rest and rehab the injury, leaving open the possibility of a 2014 return.

New York will be very cautious with the 25-year-old Tanaka, but Monday was a big step in his recovery. The initial thought was that the injury would require at least six weeks of rest before any attempt to return to the Yankees.

Tanaka was having one of the best seasons of any pitcher in the majors before sustaining the injury. A 2.51 ERA (3.07 FIP) and strikeout rate of 26.6 percent would have put Tanaka in an exciting race with Felix Hernandez for the American League Cy Young Award.

Any contribution from Tanaka would be huge for the Yankees, who have hung in the AL Wild Card race despite several injuries to their starting rotation. Most recently, David Phelps was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday after leaving his last start with elbow inflammation.   

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