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Monday, September 15, 2014

Yankees Injury Update: Masahiro Tanaka could pitch next weekend

By on 9/15/2014 07:45:00 PM

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka may get his chance to pitch again this season when the Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays in the upcoming four-game series from September 18-21. Tanaka pitched a Minor League instructional game on Monday, throwing five scoreless innings. His return depends on how he feels on Tuesday says's Bryan Hoch and Adam Berry.

Hoch says that the "next step" could be Tanaka's long-awaited return to the mound.
In his Monday evening report, Hoch's colleague, Adam Berry of, says that Tanaka pitched five scoreless innings, allowing six hits and striking out four in an instructional game at the Yankees' training complex in Tampa, Florida. Tanaka and the Yankees will have to wait until Tuesday evening to determine if he is ready to pitch in the Majors again before the season ends. Berry says that Tanaka needs to report "no discomfort" in order to pitch next weekend.

Berry quoted Tanaka speaking through an interpreter about his Monday afternoon performance. Said Tanaka,
"As far as my performance goes, I think it's gradually getting better. It's not really a regular-season-game atmosphere, so it's a little bit hard for me to get myself up to there. But I do feel good."
Even if the Yankees are nearly-eliminated, having Tanaka pitch would give them a very good idea of how to treat and handle him during the offseason. He still has the partial tear in his UCL, so many analysts -- including ESPN's Baseball Tonight panel on September 14 -- predict that he will eventually have Tommy John surgery at some point in the near future.

If Tanaka does pitch next weekend -- and pitch well without problems -- he could possibly get a second start before the season ends on September 28. Tanaka is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 18 starts, three of them complete games.

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