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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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3 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

codyzoschak

Unrelated to the actual content of the article, but Hideki Matsui also famously apologized to the team and fans for being injured back in 2006.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/13/sports/baseball/13matsui.html?_r=0

Jul 18, 2014 08:14 AM
rating: 2
 
DrDaley

I think the art of apology is somewhat inherent in the Japanese culture. In case things don't get better and the shame for Masahiro becomes too unbearable Yankee fans, no all baseball fans, can be glad that the ancient form of Seppuku has for the most part ceased.

Jul 18, 2014 12:50 PM
rating: 1
 
Johnston

First Fernandez and now Tanaka. Most pitchers never fully recover from a UCL/Tommy John, and I am really saddened that these two wonderful pitchers had to suffer that injury.

Jul 21, 2014 18:55 PM
rating: 0
 
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Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (07/18)
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