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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

CBS Sports: Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka to have MRI on pitching arm

Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka is heading back to New York to undergo an MRI on his pitching arm, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. As King notes, Tanaka is coming off his worst start of this, his first season in the U.S. major league…Needless to say, if Tanaka’s reported MRI turns up anything significant, then it will be a grave blow to a Yankees team that’s already dealing with a number of injuries in the rotation

Gee, ya think?

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:46 PM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tanaka, yankees

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   1. Depressoteric Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4747196)
GODDAMMIT.

And I don't even like the Yankees.
   2. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4747202)
If his arm did blow up ill feel a lot better about the cubs not winning the bidding war.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4747205)
Ouch.
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4747206)
So after Tanaka's inevitable surgery, how many good, fairly young pitchers are left in the major leagues at this point whose elbows haven't felt the cold steel of Dr. Andrews' scalpel? Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole... who else?
   5. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4747219)
Jake Peavy is available.











(Seriously though, this sucks.)
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4747238)
Joel Sherman:
The Yankees have gotten from starting pitchers this year 33 outs after the seventh inning. He’s gotten 25 of them. I mean, nobody else [on the team] gets outs late in games.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4747264)
Doesn't sound good. 60% of the Yankees' starting rotation is already out, with only Pineda a possibility to return for the tail end of the season. As weak as the AL East is, the Yankees probably need Tanaka to be Tanaka to even be in the picture.
   8. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4747267)
Bummer. Fun guy to watch, and I hope he's okay.

He's also kept my fantasy team afloat after injuries/ineffectiveness from Votto, Harper, Cain and Verlander.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4747272)
Kevin Gausman should be encased in carbonite.
   10. Ziggy Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4747278)
Yeah, I support the Gausman in carbonite plan. Even if he was blind he'd have an easier time finding the strike zone than Jiemenez.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4747281)
My tenuous hold on first place in my fantasy league just got a lot more tenuous.
   12. JL Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4747288)
So after Tanaka's inevitable surgery, how many good, fairly young pitchers are left in the major leagues at this point whose elbows haven't felt the cold steel of Dr. Andrews' scalpel? Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole... who else?


Verlander, though the way he is pitching this year, perhaps he needs to as well.
   13. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4747290)
Verlander's 31. I don't think he can fit under any definition that includes the word "young".

For what it's worth, I think if his shoulder doesn't explode Verlander still has several good seasons left, after a year or two of figuring out how to get hitters out without 100 MPH heat.
   14. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4747293)
Verlander's 31. I don't think he can fit under any definition that includes the word "young".


Any non-sports definition.
   15. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4747298)
I think that "non" might have been misplaced. :) I take your point, though--certainly a quote like "At 31, Justin Verlander was awfully young to die of emphysema" would be well spoken.
   16. JE (Jason) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4747305)
Assuming that RAJ has suddenly discovered a modicum of self-awareness, I suspect he's ready to discuss a Cliff Lee salary-dump trade with Cashman.
   17. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4747312)
Cliff Lee would not be a salary dump. You would have to give up substantive value for his services.
   18. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4747322)
Well I wouldn't think Gerrit Cole would fit in a group with King Felix and Kershaw, but here we are.
   19. DKDC Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4747327)
Kevin Gausman should be encased in carbonite.



Bonus: it would make it even easier to ship him off to a random Oriole affiliate after each major league start.
   20. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4747333)
Cole is (1) on the DL for the 2nd time in, what, 5 weeks & (2) on my fantasy team, so (3) surgery is inevitable.

Of course, Felix is on my roster, too. Uh-oh.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4747335)
20: Possibly, but it's not his elbow. It's a lat injury, which is what plagued Johnny Cueto most of last season. They don't heal easily; both the Pirates and your fantasy team are probably boned for 2014.
   22. DKDC Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4747359)
Now Yankees beat writer is reporting Tanaka is going on DL.

So what's that most likely option for the Yankees?

1) Double down and find way to get Price or Lee
2) Go into semi tear down and play the young uns (do they have any?)
3) Stay the course with the corpses and hope for the best

   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4747363)
Of course, Felix is on my roster, too. Uh-oh.


Please trade him immediately.
   24. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4747364)
They're 3.5 back of wild card, 4 in the AL East, I can't imagine a scenario that has them tearing down.
   25. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4747373)
Chris Broussard is reporting Tanaka's arm was flown to NYC but Tanaka himself is meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Las Vegas.
   26. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4747377)
Verlander's 31. I don't think he can fit under any definition that includes the word "young".

He's young because he's eighteen frickin' years younger than me. It's not like Verlander is singing with Menudo or something.

In other news, RMc would pay big money to watch Verlander sing with Menudo.
   27. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4747414)
This sucks, but it's what I expected when Tanaka came over. He threw a lot of innings in NPB and his K9 was declining. I was surprised he was so good to start the year but he seemed like a prime elbow injury candidate.
   28. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4747420)
They're 3.5 back of wild card, 4 in the AL East, I can't imagine a scenario that has them tearing down.

The scenario in which they realize they've been handily outscored by their opposition and were never really contenders to begin with.
   29. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4747434)
Are they not the New York Yankees in this scenario?
   30. formerly dp Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4747493)
Nooo.....! Tanaka was fun to watch this year. And it tales a lot for me to say that about a Yankee.
   31. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4747553)
Menudo is not a thing anymore.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:25 PM (#4747582)
The Yankees have gotten from starting pitchers this year 33 outs after the seventh inning. He’s gotten 25 of them. I mean, nobody else [on the team] gets outs late in games.


I doubt many other teams are doing much better than this.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4747586)
Tanaka placed on DL. No further announcement, apparently because the team doctor is out of town. That may qualify as the good news. <sigh>
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4747602)
apparently because the team doctor is out of town.


No doubt celebrating the fact that ARod dropped his lawsuit against him.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4747605)
The Yankees have gotten from starting pitchers this year 33 outs after the seventh inning. He’s gotten 25 of them. I mean, nobody else [on the team] gets outs late in games.

That sounds like the makings of a good trivia question: Where did the other 8 innings come from?

It also shows just how important it is these days to have a "deep deep" bullpen. You can have the best 7th inning man, setup man, and closer in baseball, but if you've got to hit the bullpen in the 6th or 7th inning 130 or 140 times a year, they're going to be shot by the end of the season. There may be something to the idea of developing pitchers with the ability to pace themselves and go deep into the game, rather than going full steam ahead on every batter in the lineup from the first inning on.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4747607)
Menudo is not a thing anymore.


Maybe not, but they were arguably the best boy band ever named after intestine and stomach lining soup.
   37. bobm Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4747618)
[32]

My summary of 2014 data from BR PI:

OP7 = Sum of Outs Past 7th Inning From Starting Pitcher

Table below sorted by team totals. Price beats Tanaka on % of team total. Cueto, Wainwright, and Price beat Tanaka on total; Keuchel and Hernandez tie.


 TM OP7                   Team Leader OP7  %Tm
CIN  78                  Johnny Cueto  35  45%
LAA  51                   C.J. Wilson  18  35%
STL  50               Adam Wainwright  32  64%
SEA  50               Felix Hernandez  25  50%
SFG  46                    Tim Hudson  19  41%
TBR  45                   David Price  39  87%
TEX  41                    Yu Darvish  23  56%
BOS  39                   John Lackey  18  46%
DET  39  Max Scherzer / Rick Porcello  15  38%
ATL  38                 Julio Teheran  22  58%
TOR  36                  Mark Buehrle  11  31%
MIL  35                    Kyle Lohse  17  49%
PHI  34                  A.J. Burnett  13  38%
LAD  34               Clayton Kershaw  15  44%
HOU  33                Dallas Keuchel  25  76%
WSN  33             Jordan Zimmermann  12  36%
NYY  33               Masahiro Tanaka  25  76%
MIA  32             Henderson Alvarez  18  56%
KCR  31                  Jason Vargas  13  42%
BAL  29                 Chris Tillman  16  55%
CLE  28                  Corey Kluber  15  54%
NYM  27                 Bartolo Colon  11  41%
CHW  27                    Chris Sale  16  59%
ARI  26                    Wade Miley   8  31%
OAK  25                  Scott Kazmir  10  40%
MIN  24   Ricky Nolasco / Phil Hughes   9  38%
PIT  22                    Jeff Locke  10  45%
SDP  16                    Tyson Ross   9  56%
CHC  13               Jeff Samardzija   7  54%
COL   3                  Jordan Lyles   3 100%

   38. bobm Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4747621)
That sounds like the makings of a good trivia question: Where did the other 8 innings come from?

       Player      Date  Tm Opp      Rslt  AppDec    IP
Hiroki Kuroda  7/1/2014 NYY TBR    L  1-2 GS-8  L   8.0
Chase Whitley 6/12/2014 NYY SEA    W  6-3 GS-8  W   7.2
Hiroki Kuroda  5/6/2014 NYY LAA    W  4-3 GS-8      7.2
    Ivan Nova 4/13/2014 NYY BOS    W  3-2 GS-8  W   7.1
   39. Rob_Wood Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4747644)
just to be clear, these are outs past the seventh inning (not innings)
   40. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 10, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4747689)
That sounds like the makings of a good trivia question:

As soon as I saw this, I wanted to call bobm. :) He is the master of Play-Index. Thanks, as usual, for the research!
   41. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:29 AM (#4747720)
Sonny Gray is doomed, isn't he? Hopefully we have Parker back before Gray gets TJS.
   42. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4747740)
In the long run, we're all doomed.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4747745)
this is rotten news

he was on quite the fernando type run.
   44. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:22 AM (#4747749)
TM OP7 Team Leader OP7 %Tm
CIN 78 Johnny Cueto 35 45%


And yet, the Reds have an 8-man bullpen...
   45. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4747758)
Assuming his season is done: Rookie of the Year for sure. What about Cy Young?
   46. Ziggy Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4747763)
I don't know about the Rookie of the Year. 130 innings isn't all that much, and Jose Abreu is leading the league in HR and slugging. If he's done for the year I think Abreu gets the Rookie of the Year award.
   47. Ziggy Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4747769)
And CYY is impossible. Not with that few innings pitched. If he is done for the year, Felix is probably your CYY leader at the moment. Darvish and Sale also contenders. Felix has 136 IP, 2.11 ERA and 10 wins. (And for the voters that pay attention, 4.2 bWAR so far, to Tanaka's 4.1.) Even if Tanaka pitched the rest of the year it would be a horse race between him and Felix for the CYY.
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4747861)
130 innings isn't all that much, and Jose Abreu is leading the league in HR and slugging. If he's done for the year I think Abreu gets the Rookie of the Year award.

I see no question about that.
   49. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4747874)
Has any retired baseball player been mentioned more in the media this season than Tommy John?

Imagine if, say, Juan Eichelberger had been the guy to get the groundbreaking surgery in the 1970s. Would we lamenting the explosion of young pitchers getting "Juan Eichelberger"? Perhaps it is true: Everything does happen for a reason.
   50. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4747920)
Menudo is not a thing anymore.


All those Latino-ish places have switched to Campbell Chicken & Stars or something?

The homogenizing effect of U.S. culture is getting worse by the day, I swear.
   51. philphan Posted: July 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4747952)
The NTY is reporting that the Yankees' desire to get a quick read on Tanaka's status is complicated by their team doctor being at an orthopedic conference in Seattle, and that Tanaka might fly there today to consult him. And then maybe get a second opinion from someone at the same conference.

This prospect left me imagining an orthopedics society annual meeting, and outside of the conference center there is a waiting room full of athletes with various injuries and aches, waiting to be seen by the attendees.
   52. Jeltzandini Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4748112)
No orthopedic surgeon can refuse a request on the day of his daughter's wedding.
   53. Willie Mayspedester Posted: July 10, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4748241)
Sonny Gray is doomed, isn't he? Hopefully we have Parker back before Gray gets TJS.


Where did that come from? Also Parker is having his 2nd TJ surgery which don't work as well as the 1st a lot of times unfortunately.
   54. madvillain Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4748370)
Abreu is up to 287/337/629 and has plenty of counting stats to go with it. He seems to have adjusted to the constant barrage of outside junk that had him in a mini-slump after he came back from the foot sorness back in early June and is now becoming a more complete hitter, with the average to go along with the power.

He still doesn't really take an ideal number of walks, but he takes enough to keep pitchers honest.

I don't really see how he doesn't win AL ROY unless he completely craters in the 2nd half, but even 12 HR in the next 70 games puts him at 40 and probably around 110 RBI. Those are pretty great counting stats for the media to gorge on, and that's a very conservative estimate based on his 1st half totals.
   55. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4748392)
53:
Where did that come from? Also Parker is having his 2nd TJ surgery which don't work as well as the 1st a lot of times unfortunately.


That was in response to 4:
So after Tanaka's inevitable surgery, how many good, fairly young pitchers are left in the major leagues at this point whose elbows haven't felt the cold steel of Dr. Andrews' scalpel? Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole... who else?
   56. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4748420)
Just announced: partial UCL tear. Sigh.
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4748425)
YES is saying "small tear" in UCL. No immediate surgery, will try to rehab. Does that ever work?
   58. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4748430)
Just announced: partial UCL tear. Sigh.


Sigh.

Seriously, why does this seem like worse than the "worst case scenario" ... like, they'll waste 6-8 weeks "resting" the injury, then waste 6-8 weeks "rehabbing" it, then waste a stupid amount of time trying to "strengthen" it and THEN finally, belatedly, admit defeat and have the surgery ... and thus, having pissed around for a ridiculous amount of time, wasted essentially 1.5 - 2 years.

Blargh.
   59. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4748434)
YES is saying "small tear" in UCL. No immediate surgery, will try to rehab. Does that ever work?


No, it does not. If he doesn't wise up (as Matt Harvey did) then #58 explains how it's going to play out pretty near perfectly. You can't rehab a UCL tear.

I would imagine the Yankees would want to get the surgery done NOW in the interests of getting him back on the mound in time for next year's playoff push. Dicking around very long with trying to rehab a UCL tear will take him out for the entire 2015 season.
   60. madvillain Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4748444)
Good thing they gave him that player option.
   61. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4748471)
Partially torn UCL. 6 week minimum recovery time. If rehab fails, will need Tommy John surgery.
   62. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4748478)
Spoilers: rehab will fail.
   63. billyshears Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4748488)
Good thing they gave him that player option.


Don't you realize that this will work out to the Yankees benefit because Tanaka will opt out and then the Yankees will let him go so some other team will sign him for the downside of his career? Just like with A-Rod and Sabathia.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4748491)
I say just pitch through it. What "evidence" do we have that Tommy John surgery even works?
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4748501)
YES is saying "small tear" in UCL. No immediate surgery, will try to rehab. Does that ever work?


Girardi couldn't specifically name anyone it worked with when asked after the game, and I must admit I can't think of anyone off the top of my head. But I don't really follow this issue all that closely, so I'm sure it's worked for some pitchers before. I guess. Perhaps. (I can't really believe they'd try something that has rarely if ever worked. But, well, maybe.)
   66. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4748508)
Since the surgery became widespread, I'm not sure if *every* single pitcher who has ever been diagnosed with any kind of UCL tear has gone on to Tommy John surgery, but it's pretty damn near every one; either that or, like Wandy Rodriguez, they refuse, try to rehab it and shortly find their baseball career over.

I expect that once Tanaka passes out of the denial stage he'll schedule the surgery. I'm guessing the Yankees are saying "we'll try to rehab him and get him back out in six weeks" because behind the scenes Tanaka is saying "no way in hell am I getting Tommy John". But his agent will probably talk sense into him.
   67. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4748513)
No, it does not. If he doesn't wise up (as Matt Harvey did) then #58 explains how it's going to play out pretty near perfectly. You can't rehab a UCL tear.


You're wrong.

A very small UCL tear *will* heal itself. And you claim rehab does not work. Tell Roy Halladay that.

It is very, very likely that he will need TJS, unless the small tear is actually a *very* small tear. But if rehab might work, it would be utterly idiotic to send him to have surgery next week. You're throwing away a full year just because you want to risk throwing away 6-8 weeks on top of it.

3 doctors didn't tell the Yankees that he *might* be able to avoid surgery, they told them that they did not advise surgery at this time. Doctors feel that rehab may work. But I guess since you say that it never works (even though it has worked in the past), I guess they shouldn't bother trying.
   68. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4748517)
So after Tanaka's inevitable surgery, how many good, fairly young pitchers are left in the major leagues at this point whose elbows haven't felt the cold steel of Dr. Andrews' scalpel? Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole... who else?


Chris Sale.
   69. billyshears Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4748519)
Since the surgery became widespread, I'm not sure if *every* single pitcher who has ever been diagnosed with any kind of UCL tear has gone on to Tommy John surgery, but it's pretty damn near every one; either that or, like Wandy Rodriguez, they refuse, try to rehab it and shortly find their baseball career over.


I imagine that there are many pitchers who pitch with small, mostly asymptomatic UCL tears. As teams become more aggressive in utilizing MRIs to diagnose the cause of all minor elbow discomfort, I would guess that more and more small UCL tears will be discovered. I'm not sure we have a great idea yet as to how small of a tear truly requires TJ surgery.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4748520)
Larry: I'm open to the idea that he can rehab it. Can you name other pitchers who did that successfully?
   71. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4748523)
Larry: I'm open to the idea that he can rehab it. Can you name other pitchers who did that successfully?


I don't know offhand of any other than Halladay, who at the time of the injury *was* told he'd likely need surgery.

Cashman says that they've had success with other pitchers in their system with similar diagnoses, but didn't name names. I would give Tanaka less than a 1% chance of avoiding TJS. But if the doctors aren't even advising it yet, I don't see why the Yankees should overrule them and say NO CUT HIM UP AND PUT HIM ON THE SHELF FOR A YEAR NO MATTER WHAT. I'm willing to lose him for the entire 2015 season instead of having him for the last two months if it means there's a chance they can have him for the last month of this season and all of next season.
   72. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4748532)
I would give Tanaka less than a 1% chance of avoiding TJS. But if the doctors aren't even advising it yet, I don't see why the Yankees should overrule them and say NO CUT HIM UP AND PUT HIM ON THE SHELF FOR A YEAR NO MATTER WHAT.


Well, the case for having the surgery now is basically that you would hope to have him back for the stretch run next year. (Assuming that is realistic. I'm not clear whether he'd even be able to make it back for the last month or two of next year. You certainly don't want to rush him once he's had the surgery.)

I'm willing to lose him for the entire 2015 season instead of having him for the last two months if it means there's a chance they can have him for the last month of this season and all of next season.


I can see this. But, then, since even you admit above the "chance" is 1%, I don't really see the point. And they're only a game over .500 this year, and that's WITH him. They've been outscored by 37 runs. By the time he gets back in 8 weeks, they'll most likely be even further back (at his current pace he would be worth about 2.5 wins in that time over a replacement level pitcher). Matt Harvey eventually came around. I'm guessing Tanaka/the Yankees will too.


   73. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4748540)
I can see this. But, then, since even you admit above the "chance" is 1%, I don't really see the point. And they're only a game over .500 this year, and that's WITH him. They've been outscored by 37 runs. By the time he gets back in 8 weeks, they'll most likely be even further back (at his current pace he would be worth about 2.5 wins in that time over a replacement level pitcher). Matt Harvey eventually came around. I'm guessing Tanaka/the Yankees will too.


This isn't a "Yankees/Tanaka in denial" thing, this is a "the doctors don't recommend surgery at this time" thing. If the doctors recommend surgery, then he'll get surgery.

Now, as for not seeing the point, let's ignore that they're only 4 games out of first place, which is more important than their record. The point isn't to get him back this year. The point is to get him back for next year. They're not trying to rush him back, they're trying to avoid surgery entirely, so he'll be around for all of 2015. *THAT* is the point of rehab.
   74. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4748541)
Ray, Tanaka's season is over. It's always been over.
   75. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4748542)
I don't think 4 games out is very significant given the quality of the team, especially without him.

I mean, at the risk of inviting the usual comments, ESPN gives them a 13% chance of making the playoffs as of now. You might think that's low, or maybe not, but clearly their chances of doing anything this year are low.
   76. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4748543)
Aren't Tanaka's proposed treatments, platelet-rich plasma injections, relatively new? If so, maybe past experiences aren't that predictive. ESPN's article says Greinke successfully had that treatment.
   77. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 11, 2014 at 02:46 AM (#4748555)
you would hope to have him back for the stretch run next year.


Stretch run at what? First draft pick?
   78. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 07:38 AM (#4748575)
I'm willing to lose him for the entire 2015 season instead of having him for the last two months if it means there's a chance they can have him for the last month of this season and all of next season.


Let's assume your numbers are exaggerated; let's assume his chances of avoiding Tommy John Surgery altogether are 10% rather than 1%, and if he does have the surgery now he'll get back in time for one month of 2015, not two. You'd be risking one month (next September) for a payoff of nine months (six next year, three remaining this year)--11% pot odds as a poker player would call it. But the real chances are far below 10%; more like 2-3%.

If this injury had come up six weeks later in the year, when the surgery would mean missing all of 2015 no matter what, trying to rehab it first would make plenty of sense. Right now, when you can very likely have him back on the mound by next September if you get the surgery now, chasing the 2-3% chance of avoiding it altogether isn't worth it.

That's game theory, and what we're actually dealing with is a human being facing over a year of grueling rehab after getting the surgery; if he wants to try to avoid the surgery he is so entitled. And if three doctors unanimously recommend against surgery, of course that carries more weight than some guy on the internet pointing out that almost no one ever has avoided the surgery before (do you have direct sources on the three doctors thing, or taking the team's word for it? Serious question, I don't know.)

I imagine that there are many pitchers who pitch with small, mostly asymptomatic UCL tears.

Yes, as I understand it practically *all* pitchers have ligament damage to some degree. MRIs aren't routine, though; if an MRI happens it's probably because the pitcher is reporting symptoms.
   79. billyshears Posted: July 11, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4748590)
MRIs aren't routine, though; if an MRI happens it's probably because the pitcher is reporting symptoms.


I don't have any real evidence for this, but my suspicion is that teams have begun to send pitchers for MRIs on the basis of a lower threshold of discomfort than they would previously, which is leading to diagnoses of small UCL tears which would have previously gone undiagnosed. Because of that, I don't think we have great data as to how small of a UCL tear requires TJ surgery for a pitcher to continue as an effective pitcher. In any case, given how the Yankees have described the injury, and that all 3 doctors have allegedly recommended against surgery at this time, it seems to me that there is a greater than de minimis chance that Tanaka avoids TJ surgery entirely.
   80. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4748596)
The doctors HAVE recommended that he stop pitching, though, so we can safely conclude there is greater-than-average damage there.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4748597)
You'd be risking one month (next September) for a payoff of nine months (six next year, three remaining this year)--11% pot odds as a poker player would call it. But the real chances are far below 10%; more like 2-3%.

That's an incredibly precise statement given no actual data and knowledge of the situation.

If the Drs. aren't recommending surgery, I'd have to think surgery is not, in fact, inevitable. Surgeons like to cut. If there was a 97% chance surgery was inevitable, they'd likely recommend doing it now.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4748630)
Still wondering what examples we have of pitchers who were shut down for this for 6 weeks and then came back without missing a beat. Without those examples, any "recommendation against surgery" should be met with major skepticism.
   83. Ziggy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4748634)
The cost of going in for the surgery also includes the time it takes to get back up to full strength. Pitchers return from TJ in 12-18 months, but take something like an additional 12 months to return to form (minus aging effects).
   84. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4748642)
If the Drs. aren't recommending surgery, I'd have to think surgery is not, in fact, inevitable. Surgeons like to cut. If there was a 97% chance surgery was inevitable, they'd likely recommend doing it now.


Which is the key thing: people saying that the Yankees are being stupid and in denial here are saying that the Yankees should ignore the advice of doctors and immediately go to the most extreme measure.

The cost of going in for the surgery also includes the time it takes to get back up to full strength. Pitchers return from TJ in 12-18 months, but take something like an additional 12 months to return to form (minus aging effects).
Ehh, Strasburg was back to form right away.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4748646)
Which is the key thing: people saying that the Yankees are being stupid and in denial here are saying that the Yankees should ignore the advice of doctors and immediately go to the most extreme measure.

Which makes no sense given the recovery time is usually >12 months.

Why rush to have surgery, in order to maybe get Tanaka back for 1-2 months in 2015, and the risk of rushing his recovery/rehab? This is the exact issue the Mets had with Harvey.

Just assume surgery = no 2015. In that context, surgery now, or in 2 months doesn't matter in terms of his pitching in 2016.
   86. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4748668)
Jeez snapper, did I fail to make to clear it was a game theory exercise? My apologies if I wasn't clear enough on that. Edit: Sorry; I just realized upon re-reading your post you weren't responding to that part of my last post, but rather to the "2-3%" part.

Still wondering what examples we have of pitchers who were shut down for this for 6 weeks and then came back without missing a beat. Without those examples, any "recommendation against surgery" should be met with major skepticism.


Possibly. It's also possible that it means the injury isn't actually that bad.
   87. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4748690)
Just assume surgery = no 2015.


This is the big thing for me. I don't think there is any meaningful benefit to the Yankees to rush him into surgery. Even if he misses the rest of 2014 and is able to come back at the start of 2015 that's better than rushing to get under the knife.
   88. Ziggy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4748714)
Presumably there are insurance issues to consider here as well. If the doctors are not suggesting surgery immediately, I'd assume that the insurance company would refuse to pay for his rehab time. If Tanaka gets TJ surgery, somebody is going to pay $20m for nothing next year. The Yankees probably want to make sure that it's not them.
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4748747)
As the dust has settled the Yankees are left with three plus position players (Gardner, Ellsbury, Teixeira), and they can expect better performances from one of McCann and Beltran. So call it four plus position players.

And an excellent pen.

But they have problems at 4 or 5 lineup slots and overall the starting pitching currently in operation aspires to mediocre.

   90. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4748752)
Heh, that makes them sound like pretty much the same team as the Pirates. How delicious!
   91. ptodd Posted: July 11, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4748918)
I expressed concern several times about Tanaka's increased reliance on the splitter which has almost doubled from last years rate of 15%. Although there is some debate, many think throwing a split adds stress to the elbow, and such a sudden increase in usage is cause for concern.

For a pitcher as reliant on a slider and split as Tanaka is, given his fastball is so hittable, it's unlikely Tanaka can avoid TJ Surgery now that a tear has developed, and he may never be the same pitcher again even post surgery.

It's a sad thing for baseball, Tanaka was really special.
   92. Willie Mayspedester Posted: July 11, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4748933)
Yankees acquire Jeff Francis problem solved?
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4748952)
Yankees acquire Jeff Francis problem solved?


Yes, that'll do it.

I found a split of Francis's that Yankees fans can hang their hats on: last 14 days he is unhittable.
   94. The District Attorney Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4749013)
Tanaka: “I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time."
   95. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4749022)
APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED.
   96. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4749038)
Tanaka: “I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time."


Wow, he really knows how to play the New York fans. Well done. The lemmings will eat that up.
   97. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4749061)
Anxiously awaiting Angry Hank to call Tanaka a fat toad to the media.... Hideki Irabu II: Electric Boogaloo.
   98. Zach Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4749072)
Luke Hochever pitched a couple of seasons with a partial UCL tear before it broke all the way this spring.

If the doctors aren't recommending surgery yet, there's no need to jump the gun. There's no such thing as a scalpel with an "Undo" feature.
   99. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4749075)
Tanaka: “I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time."


An honorable man.
   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4749078)
An honorable man.


Not really. It's an empty "apology" (*) because he didn't do anything blameworthy. I already noted the reason he apologized.

(*) Needless, out of place, and not even falling under the category of an "apology" in the first place.
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