Yankees rumors reveal Masahiro Tanaka might be back in the starting rotation soon. These New York Yankees come from Wednesday (Aug. 20), where the former Cy Young award candidate pitched another bullpen session for the coaching staff. According to a report from CBS Sports, Tanaka threw 35 pitches during this session, proving that his arm is indeed coming along. The biggest positive to take away is that he was throwing curveballs and sliders with no difficulty.
Now the waiting begins, because the team wants to see how his arm responds to the workout and if he is experiencing any soreness on Thursday (Aug. 21). If he is still doing fine, they will likely take him to the next step in the rehab process. That would be huge news, because it would put him back on pace to join the rotation in September. If the team can get back into the wild card race, he could be a huge boost to the team and its morale.
Before he got hurt, Tanaka had made 18 starts in his rookie season for the team. He had a record of 12-4 to go with a 2.51 ERA and 135 strikeouts. It was possible that he was going to remain in the race with Felix Hernandez for the 2014 American League Cy Young Award. A partial tear to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm put him on the disabled list. It was a terrible scenario that took away the momentum of the team at the time.
These New York Yankees rumors certainly come as a positive sign for Masahiro Tanaka, even if he doesn’t return during the 2014 MLB season. Sitting four games behind the Detroit Tigers for the second wild card slot isn’t a good position, but there are still 39 games left to potentially make up that ground. Lacking most of the starting pitcher that they began the season with, though, makes it a very difficult task indeed. The hope was that he would be able to heal quick enough that he could return for a playoff run, but losing six-of-10 games has hurt.