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July 18, 2014

Working the Count

The Tanaka Postmortem

by Noah Woodward


“I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time.” —Masahiro Tanaka, 7/11/14

Okay, so I’m a little late to arrive on the scene. One week ago, the New York Yankees announced that starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his throwing elbow. If the righty isn’t able to rehab the injury, he will soon go under the knife.

Every time the league loses someone as outstanding as Tanaka, people generally want answers. What caused this injury? How could it have been prevented? Should the Yankees quarantine the rest of their starting pitchers?

I’ve said this before, but any PITCHf/x model designed to prevent torn elbow ligaments doesn’t actually prevent torn elbow ligaments—instead, the goal is to catch these types of injuries before they get significantly worse. Most pitchers tend to remain silent about elbow discomfort until things get out of hand. We wish Jose Fernandez wouldn’t have put his need to “not let his team down” above his desire to remain healthy. At this point, I’m sure he wishes that too.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (07/18)
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