Yankees Ivan Nova, Mets Matt Harvey, Rays Matt Moore, Diamondbacks Patrick Corbin, Braves Kris Medlen, Mets Bobby Parnell, Rangers Martin Perez, and now Yankees Masahiro Tanaka can be added to this list.
The names above are just a few recent pitchers who suffered a partial ligament tear in their throwing elbow; and minus Tanaka, all ended up needing Tommy John surgery.
But the Yankees claim that it was recommended by doctors that Tanaka would try to repair his partial tear with an injection and rehab over the next six weeks.
Look, we all know that Tanaka’s injury is the worst conceivable blow the Yankees could have imagined to happen, as the season is now in major jeopardy.
But is that a reason to delay the inevitable?
Just ask Harvey, who wanted to avoid the operating table at all costs. But like as in most cases, he ended up needing Tommy John surgery, which has kept Harvey, sidelined for the all the 2014 season.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson explained why rehabbing an injury like Tanaka’s is a risk as, “There will always be the open question, given a partial tear, how long that ligament will hold up.”
Statistics show it practically inevitable that most high-level throwing athletes who suffer from a partial tear will end up needing surgery; so why haven’t the Yankees suggested Tommy John for Tanaka?
I am well aware that everybody’s body is different, but when the word “tear” is used to describe an injury to a pitcher’s elbow it makes me cringe.
But remember, Tanaka had pitched seven seasons in Japan before joining the Yankees. He had thrown 1,315 innings by his age 24 so my guess is this injury was not a matter of if, but when.
Look, the bottom line is the Yankees will be without Tanaka for at least six weeks, and that puts any hopes of making the 2014 season in jeopardy.
After losing last night, 9-3 the Yankees ended up splitting the four games vs. the Indians.
Tonight the Yankees start a vital three game weekend series vs. the AL East leading Orioles…sans Tanaka, who was supposed to face Buck’s Birds in Sunday’s game.
This whole Tanaka injury has put me in a total state of shock, as the reality of it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.