The New York Yankees have been able to survive and thrive without Masahiro Tanaka but reports show that he’s almost ready to come back.
I can guarantee you that when Masahiro Tanaka returns to the mound for the New York Yankees, there will be one baseball activity he’ll be asked to avoid at all costs: running the bases.
Tanaka went on the disabled list on June 9 with two strained hamstrings but is definitely making progress towards a return. As reported by J. Scott Butherus on MLB.com, Tanaka tossed a 26-pitch bullpen session prior to Sunday’s game against the Rays.
The best part? He felt great.
“I was kind of being a little bit cautious about it on the mound, but it turned out that I didn’t feel anything [in my hamstrings], so everything is working out fine,” Tanaka told reporters, per Butherus.
Hear that sound? No, it isn’t the wind. It’s the entire Yankees fanbase breathing a collective sigh of relief over the news.
Hey, the Yankees fanbase has been hurt before by pitchers running the bases, dating back to Chien-Ming Wang in 2008 in Houston. So it’s nice to see that Tanaka is not yet lost for the season.
So far this season, Tanaka has a 7-2 record with a 4.58 ERA. The 29-year-old righty has been a steady performer for their starting rotation but has yet to truly go the distance as he has done in the past. In his 13 starts this season, he has yet to go past 6.2 innings of work, including five starts of five innings each.
Tanaka has been on the disabled list almost every year at some point so hopefully this small injury gets that out of the way so he can continue dealing into the playoffs.
Aaron Boone added to reporters that Tanaka’s rehab will continue with some more bullpen sessions down in Tampa at the team’s minor league complex.
All great signs for the Yankees and Boone. The better sign? The fact that the Yankees showed they could be fine without him but could be even more dominant with him.