Tanaka Diagnosed With Tear In UCL

| July 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

After 16 starts on the biggest stage in the Pinstripes, Yankee’s rookie Masahiro Tanaka’s phenomenal season may be coming to an unfortunate end. Tanaka was found to have a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament after having inflammation in his elbow which resulted in him being placed on the 15-day disabled list.

According to Yankees general manager and president Brian Cashman, three physicians reported the tear in the ligament and suggested Tommy John surgery. If Tanaka takes the Tommy John surgery instead of a rehab program, which would last about six weeks, Tanaka would miss the remainder of the season.

Tanaka had a spectacular career as a pitcher for the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball league. He signed a monstrous contract back in January worth $155 million over the course of seven years that includes a no-trade clause.

Tanaka has thus far played up to that contract. He is 12-4 this season as a starting pitcher with an ERA of 2.51 and 135 strikeouts in 129 innings of play. His 135 strikeouts is ranked seventh in the majors in that category.

This injury to Tanaka is a huge blow for the Yankees franchise, who have struggled as of late. They are 8-12 within their last 20 games with the majority of losses during that span have been against divisional opponents.

Tanaka’s injury will also has a devastating impact moving forward. It also may have placed a damper on any hopes of the Yankees competing in the postseason this year. Especially against divisional foes such as the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Red Sox, all of whom are superb hitting teams the get on base and score runs.

How the Yankees deal with Tanaka’s loss on a long term basis has yet to be determined. It is ultimately up to rest of the bullpen to step up in Tanaka’s prolonged absence.

Photo Credit: Bleacherreport.com

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