You get the feeling sometimes that it’s just too good to be true with young star pitchers anymore. Every time it seems like MLB has its next mega star, the three dreaded words hit the ticker on the bottom of the screen — Tommy John surgery.
When it comes to Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees, it appears he’s escaped the dreaded surgical procedure for now.
“The ligament tear is considered small, and we have had success with pitchers that have had these, we have actually had them continue to throw without incident and they have gotten back to their normal levels…It doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Tommy John surgery in a failed attempt,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman via ESPN.
As for Tanaka’s return timetable: “None of them recommend surgery at this time, and they’re all hopeful that in roughly, maybe a six-week period, that we will have a pitcher back if he responds positively,” added Cashman.
A lot of baseball fans hate the Yankees. But even the biggest Yankee-haters have to feel for Tanaka on this one. The guy was simply having a stellar debut season. His strong MLB start has undeniably been good for the game, Plus, he’s an international star.
This is going to be a huge downer for baseball if he’s unable to come back after rehab.
It will be tough to remain optimistic about Tanaka’s future after seeing so many other young aces go down this same path. Hopefully he can be one of the few these days to overcome a UCL tear.