Pitching coach Steve McCatty rejoins Nationals after hospitalization

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Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty returned to work yesterday after being hospitalized for three nights and missing a total of six days with an irregular heartbeat.

McCatty was taken to the hospital on July 28 after complaining of symptoms, but as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports he’s apparently feeling good enough now that everyone is comfortable cracking jokes:

McCatty half-jokingly threatened to hit a reporter with a bat for writing erroneously that he had suffered high blood pressure. … “He looks good,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s his old irritable self.”

As a curmudgeon myself I’m amused that one newspaper described him as “working his way though the clubhouse in his curmudgeonly ribald manner” and another newspaper described him as “his usual affable but curmudgeonly self.” He’s been the Nationals’ pitching coach since mid-2009.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.