Yesterday the Yankees’ ace Masahiro Tanaka threw 25 pitches in a catch as he tries to make his way back from an elbow injury before the end of the season.The 25-year old righty said he felt no pain after the session.
Today, Tanaka was at it again and this time he put a little more into his throws. He threw 50 pitches from 60 feet and afterwards he said that once again he felt no pain but he added a more encouraging statement saying that this time around he threw the ball a little harder.
This is encouraging because a tear in the UCL (Which he was diagnosed with) usually involves a great deal of pain. Feeling no pain at all after throwing two days in a row and increasing the oomph the second time could be the telling sign that Tanaka will avoid Tommy John Surgery and be back next season at the very latest.
General Manager Brian Cashman said the team’s ace could return at some point in September if he keeps his current pace. If he returns and joins teammate Michael Pineda (also on the comeback trail) it would be huge for the Yankees down the stretch.
For now, the team won’t hold it’s breath. They’ll likely still be active on the starting pitching market through the waiver process. But, all and all this is great news for the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka.