Yankees’ Editorial: The Masahiro Tanaka Solution


The New York Yankees pitching rotation can be successful this year if the numerous question marks fall in their favor. It is no secret that the main concern is injuries but the problem is the quantity of injuries they are trying to overcome.

A traditional pitching rotation consists of five pitchers, and the Yankees have five injured pitchers in their rotation. Masahiro Tanaka is facing a partially torn UCL that had him shut down for the majority of 2014, CC Sabathia has a bulky knee which limited his 2014, Ivan Nova is making a come back from Tommy John surgery, Michael Pineda continues to aggravate his shoulder that he had surgery on to repair a torn labrum, and the most recent injury was to the favorite for the fifth spot in the rotation, Chris Capuano, who has a grade two strain to his quad.

I have said in past articles that the Yankees have signed a plethora of pitchers to alleviate pressure from each individual in hopes to keep them healthy. I have also went on record as to say that the success of the rotation is pivotal on the ace Tanaka remaining healthy and having a strong campaign.

The Yankees have decided to combine these two thoughts and experiment with the possibility of using their depth at pitcher to give Tanaka an extra day off here and then. Management would like to give Tanaka six days of rest rather than five. This would mean using spot starters from the farm system every once in a while.

More from Yankees News

I am not opposed to this at all because of the positive outcomes it can have. Tanaka’s back story coming out of Japan was that he had a tremendous workload there. So we know that he was over worked and furthermore, Kevin Kernan talks the difference in baseballs in his article for the New York Post.

Kernan said, “The MLB baseball is bigger and more slippery than that used in Japan, so Japanese pitchers tend to squeeze the ball tighter, and that can be a problem.”

The spot starts can also be used to evaluate talent during the season. There is the chance that the Yankees find out that one of their many prospects is major league ready by giving him a shot. It can also serve as experience to the developing prospects in the system. Lastly, the Yankees signed veteran pitchers for this reason so that if they were forced to use a spot starters they would at least know what kind of quality to expect.

Tanaka did go on record saying that he “feels better than last year.” We can only hope that he remains healthy and all of the precautions taken work to have him carry the rotation through the season and to the promised land.

Next: Why Is Next Week Important To The Yankees' Season?

More from Yanks Go Yard