What should the Yankees do with Tanaka?

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Masahiro Tanaka’s hamstring injury doesn’t seem to be too serious. Sure, he was held out of last night’s start, but that’s to be expected right now. Tanaka needs to be fresh for the postseason, which likely will start October 6 for the Yankees.

Tanaka is supposed to see a doctor today to determine when he is able to come back.

October 6 – the date of the American League Wild Card Game – is a Tuesday. Yankees are still 3.5 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays and can’t seem to overcome the hurdle known as the Blue Jays this season.

Part of me is relegating to the Yankees to the Wild Card Game even though there is still time left. Yankees and Toronto both play some pretty bad teams the rest of the way.

So this all comes down to what should the Yankees do about Tanaka?

At this point, there is no other pitcher I would rather see on the hill for the Yankees in the first game of their postseason other than Tanaka.…

Tanaka looks to rebound against the Red Sox

Tanaka vs TOR 2015

Courtesy of the AP

This early in the season, you want to find positives about the Yankees.

Yet this team has made it difficult with its blunders on defense, mistakes on the base paths and the poor hitting thus far. However, even after all that, one of the biggest topics that New York is going to face this year is the effectiveness of Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees signed Tanaka for $155 million for seven years. Last season, he suffered a partial tear of the UCL of his right elbow, and after his terrible first start of 2015 many have wondered why Tanaka didn’t just get Tommy John surgery since all the cool kids are doing it.

The Yankees have said that Tanaka is still working back and haven’t sounded the alarms just yet.

“This is not totally shocking,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told reporters. “I think he’s still in the process of building arm strength and everything. His arm strength is not far off.…

Discussion: Six-man rotation?

Yesterday, we heard Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild suggest that the Yankees may use six starters for a particularly tough stretch–30 games in 31 days–in April and May. Bryan Hoch’s story later in the day included a clarifying quotation from Rothschild:

“It’s a result of some of the stuff that’s gone on over the last few years, not just here, but everywhere,” Rothschild said. “We’re aware of situations here and early in the season, we need to get these guys through these stretches. Being that possibly early in the spring, some of them aren’t going to be able to throw a lot, we’re going to need to build them up too and give them the extra days when we can.”

My gut reaction to a six-man rotation in the past has always been aversion, and probably for good reason. Six-man rotations give a possibly fringy starter starts and they take starts away from the top pitchers in the rotation. However, the 2015 Yankee rotation is making me rethink things.…

Concern Over Tanaka’s Workload?

Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports

Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports

Currently, Masahiro Tanaka is the only really exciting part about the New York Yankees. His starts are always must see events, and he is in definite contention to start the All-Star game.

However, at this point it does not seem like he will do that since he is currently scheduled to pitch July 13th at Baltimore, which is the final game before the All-Star break. The Yankees probably aren’t very upset by this development since they have taken every precaution with Tanaka that they could so far.

The Yankees have had a few chances recently to skip over Vidal Nuno due to off days and keep Tanaka on his regular five days rest. This would seem like an easy call since Tanaka may be the best pitcher in the AL and Nuno may be the worst.

Nuno’s 5.53 FIP is almost as bad as his 5.88 ERA. He doesn’t strike out many batters with his pedestrian stuff, yet he walks 2.94 batters per nine innings.…

Masahiro Tanaka’s Home Run Issue

Masahiro Tanaka has been everything that the Yankees could have dreamed of since coming over from Japan. He has been the unquestioned ace of the staff so far, and is currently the only reliable starting pitcher the Yankees have.

Even without his best stuff in his last two starts, Tanaka kept the Yankees in the game and allowed them to win it. He has made hitters look foolish once they have gotten to two strikes with his nasty splitter. Tanaka is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 10.76 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, Tanaka has given up far too many home runs this season, which is something that could get him in trouble if he does not correct it. Tanaka has allowed seven home runs in his six starts this season and has an incredibly high 21.9 percent HR/FB ratio.

Since Tanaka has walked so few batters, the home runs have not hurt him too much. Six out of the seven home runs have been solo shots.…

Crossing the Queensboro Bridge: On the Idea of Masahiro Tanaka

“Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” I thought; “anything at all…”
Even Gatsby could happen, without any particular wonder.”

Here we see narrator Nick Carraway and title character Jay Gatsby crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. In the pages prior, Gatsby “cleared up” some misconceptions and rumors about himself and Nick comes away with an idea of Gatsby. The idea, not the man, is the possibility Nick speaks of.

Now that we’ve crossed the bridge of his acquisition, it’s clear that anything is possible when it comes to Masahiro Tanaka.

The idea of Tanaka is invariably familiar to us as Yankee fans. He is the big-ticket “free agent” that has been long coveted by the Bronx faithful. Like countless others before him, we’ve wanted him. Badly. For the last year, his name had hung over the baseball season, spoken in a “low, thrilling voice” that had us counting down the days until he was posted and had us axiously passing time, waiting for hi to sign.…