LADY AT THE BAT: Tanaka Thoughts: Stay Well, Ma-Kun

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tanaka Thoughts: Stay Well, Ma-Kun

Yesterday the YES Network posted a fun video about Masahiro Tanaka, in which they presented five facts they think you should know about the Yankees pitcher:

1. He used to be a catcher.

2. He has won a Japanese Gold Glove.

3. He is a big fan of Momoiro Clover Z.

4. His nickname in Japan was Ma-Kun.

5. He and his wife were married in Hawaii.

Pretty interesting. However, there is one more fact that Yankees Universe should be aware of and/or remember. This one isn't so funny:

His elbow is a ticking time bomb.

Until he hurt his elbow, Masahiro Tanaka was someone the Yankees and their fans assumed would be a mainstay in the rotation for many years.  It looked clear early on that this was someone the Yankees wouldn't have to worry about. I, for one, thought he was a lot of fun to watch.

Now, of course, that is no longer the case.  Going forward, each time he takes the mound might be his last for a very long period of time. One wrong movement could turn the small tear in his UCL into one that is begging for Tommy John Surgery.  Masahiro Tanaka will no longer be fun to watch.

That elbow tear reminds me of this time last year, when I was vehemently opposed to the Masahiro Tanaka signing.  I was concerned with the number of innings he had thrown during his career in Japan (1,315), and was afraid that it would come back to bite the Yankees. I'm still hoping I'll turn out to be wrong, but it's not looking good.

Fingers crossed. Stay well, Ma-Kun.

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