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Friday, August 29, 2014

Yankees Injury Update: Masahiro Tanaka experiencing 'normal arm soreness'

By on 8/29/2014 05:00:00 PM

New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka threw a 49-pitch simulated game in which he used all his pitches Thursday morning. Tanaka first reported only normal arm soreness that one could expect after pitching. In fact, CBS's Dayan Perry said that Tanaka felt well. Jack Curry of YES Network, though, noted that Tanaka has returned to New York for arm strengthening exercises.

Perry noted in his Thursday report that Tanaka "remains on course to return to the rotation at some point in September (barring setback, of course)." However, according to Curry, Tanaka feels that normal soreness, and he flew back to New York rather than follow his team to Toronto for a crucial weekend series filled with postseason implications for both teams.

For verification, we checked with Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch of Hoch also stated that Tanaka has "only normal arm soreness, a good sign as he attempts to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Another good sign is that Tanaka threw all his pitches to Brendan Ryan, a switch hitter who faced Tanaka from both sides of the plate. Hoch quoted Ryan describing the "stuff" that the rookie sensation had. Said Ryan,
"The pinpoint [command] is probably going to be the last thing to come. I would expect that to be there pretty soon. 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. It feels like the velocity is there; some of them are a little bit up, but that speaks to being off for a while. I don't expect him to be pinpoint or anything like that. It's just nice to see him throwing without any pain."
The fact that his trip to New York is for strengthening exercises only and not doctor visits is even more good news for Tanaka and the Yankees, who expect to have him back on the mound for the September stretch. They will need him to pitch as well as he did before his injury: 12-4, 2.51 ERA, and 1.01 WHIP.

Entering play on August 29, the Yankees are in second place in the A.L. East, seven games behind Baltimore, but they are only three games behind Seattle and Detroit for the second A.L. Wild Card spot. Toronto is 2.5 games further behind the Yankees with Cleveland in between.

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