Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka is supposed to rest for six weeks before doctors determine if he needs Tommy John elbow surgery, but 10 days into the process things aren’t going well.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com writes that Tanaka “is still reporting discomfort in his right elbow” following a platelet-rich plasma injection and general manager Brian Cashman described the situation as “not good that he’s still feeling it at this stage.”
Rarely does the rest-and-rehab route work in the case of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and right now surgery sure seems likely eventually for Tanaka, who went 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and 135/19 K/BB ratio through his first 18 starts after leaving Japan for a $155 million deal with the Yankees.
What a shame.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.