Well, it has happened. The worries of Masahiro Tanaka’s severe injury from 2014 hurting his career have become reality. According the Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ ace will most likely take up to a month to return to the big league rotation, as he deals heals from a slight forearm strain. Fortunately though, there are no changes in Tanaka’s bad elbow, which dampened his rookie MLB campaign. However, considering the boost the Yankees’ pitching has given the team so far this season, loosing Masahiro could take a few pinstripes off of the Bronx Bombers.
Tanaka has started in 4 games so far in 2015, with a new approach, more movement, less power. Due to elbow troubles in 2014, coaches thought that the style change would help decrease the risk of permanent damage to the elbow. So, Tanaka had adapted to the new style quite well in the early season so far, until now. Despite Joe Girardi being good at shaking things up with the pitching staff, the loss of his ace will once again leave a hole.
Until Ivan Nova returns (has been out recovering from Tommy John), along with Masahiro, the Yanks will have three solidified starters atop the rotation. Behind CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi, Girardi has two guys who just recently earned spots, but knowing Joe, the magic wand will be waved a couple more times. Putting aside a huge injury, the Yankees always find a way to be competitive.
The starting rotation has not only been strong this year, but the bullpen has also locked down. A few pinstripes might fall off the uniform for the next 3 weeks or so, but manager, Joe Girardi, is a genius under pressure. Just like last year with discovering Shane Greene, unexpected guys have risen to the occasion in Adam Warren and Chase Whitley. All New York can hope for is a smooth recovery from Tanaka, so that October will once again be in their sights.