Unbelievable Tanaka Belongs In His Own League


Jun 17, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Masahiro Tanaka has been the talked about story since the season has started, and it looks like it is not going to wind down anytime soon. Many commentators have used powerful words to describe him, such as brilliant and unstoppable. Other commentators have even thrown out the Cy Young Award with his name. He has amazed that many people, and therefore, he deserves to be in his own league.

When the Yankees signed Tanaka, they knew he was going to be a huge lift to the pitching staff. His numbers in Japan were impressive, but their only concern was how he was going to adjust in his first year in the major leagues. Clearly, the Yankees had nothing to worry about, and his numbers show. Tanaka carries an 11-1 record with a 1.99 ERA. He already has 113 strikeouts in just 99 2/3 innings. “He has been exceptional,” Brian Cashman told George A. King III of the New York Post. “He hasn’t missed a beat. He continues to pitch at the same level that he did in Japan, and we are thankful for that.”

Very often, we hear about Tanaka getting compared to the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish, an exceptional pitcher as well. Darvish is having yet another great season. However, an argument is being posted that many believe that Tanaka is even better than Darvish. “Stuff-wise, he is better than Darvish,” Andy Van Slyke told George A. King III of the New York Post. “His control is better than Darvish’s. He holds runners better than Darvish. He fields his position better than Darvish. And his money is better than Darvish’s.”

Looks like the seven-year, $155 million contract was a good investment for the Yankees’ signing of Tanaka. As he now holds the ace title, especially because of CC Sabathia having been on the DL for the last few weeks. The Yankees asked lot from Tanaka last night, as they began a three-game series with the first place Blue Jays, and of course he delivered. With the chips down, and a wild card spot in their sights, the Yankees wouldn’t want anyone else but their rookie hurler taking the mound. At the rate he’s going, Masahiro Tanaka will finish 2014 with well over 20 victories, and what could be a season for the ages, thus showing that he is indeed is in a league all his own.