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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yankees Injury Update: Masahiro Tanaka to pitch Instructional League game Monday, Yankees next

By on 9/10/2014 04:45:00 PM

After a very good bullpen session in which he experienced little to no soreness, New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will pitch in an Instructional League game at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Florida, on Monday, September 15. Two Yankees beat writers have announced the news, one Tuesday night and one Wednesday afternoon.

Bryan Hoch is the Yankees beat writer for, and Mark Feinsand writes for New York Daily News.

At first, Hoch says "simulated game," but he says in his September 9 report that Tanaka will pitch in Tampa. He also says, "If Tanaka passes those checkpoints healthy, he could be activated from the 60-day disabled list for a big league start" before the season ends. If he pitches soon enough, he could get two starts.

Tanaka threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on August 28 but then needed shutting down to allow the soreness to subside. He returned to the mound for 45 pitches, three innings worth, on September 9 and reported no issues. He felt well after throwing, so the next step is the Instructional League game on Monday.

Hoch quoted the rookie sensation after Tuesday night's performance. Speaking through an interpreter, Tanaka said,
"Definitely, I was throwing stronger, harder than in Detroit. [I was] a bit concerned just because of what happened in Detroit, but when I was throwing, it was completely different -- a different feel than what I was feeling in Detroit vs. today, so I think I'll be OK [Wednesday]."
The wild card race seems to have slipped further out of the Yankees' grasp (5.5 games out with 20 to play), but they are still alive. Tanaka could give the rotation a boost if the Yankees are still in the hunt when he gets a chance to start. If the Yankees have reached elimination or are on the brink of it, then his pitching will help determine what course of action to take during the offseason to prepare for 2015. Either way, the forecast looks far better now for Tanaka than it did just a few weeks ago.

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