Yankees: Brett Gardner Provides Encouraging Update on Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees OF Brett Gardner says Masahiro Tanaka is “like his normal self” on Sunday.

Dr. Brett Gardner at your service! The New York Yankees have been dealing with an unimaginable scenario at this juncture of the offseason after Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head with a line drive during Saturday’s practice.

But we’ve only gotten good news since the veteran pitcher went down. Tanaka was released from the hospital and he updated us himself via Twitter. On top of that, he’s back at the ballpark on Sunday, 24 hours after suffering the injury.

Gardner likes what he sees too. It seems like Tanaka is almost back to normal already.

If Tanaka’s doing OK, we couldn’t be better. The thought of losing him for the 2020 season (in his contract year) was gut-wrenching. The 2019 Yankees already endured the most injuries in history and were off to an inauspicious start in the health department before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed Opening Day.

New York can afford to lose a couple of bats given the incredible depth the roster possesses. But starting pitching? No chance. There just aren’t enough reinforcements to patch up a loss of Tanaka’s caliber.

This situation of course happened barely into Tanaka’s simulated game, so the circumstances would’ve been even more heartbreaking had he suffered a serious injury.

Perhaps manager Aaron Boone will provide an update on the right-hander later on Sunday given we don’t entirely know what’s going on. Yes, he had a CT scan come back negative and was released from the hospital, but are there any concerns? Any precautions that need to be taken? There’s undoubtedly more to this than the fact that he’s doing OK.

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Though with just under three weeks until the start of the regular season, we’d venture to say Tanaka has ample time to rest and get back on track to be ready for 2020.