Masahiro Tanaka is pitching well with a torn elbow ligament

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It may be a while before everyone stops holding their breath and crossing their fingers whenever Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound, but so far at least the Yankees ace’s decision to hold off on Tommy John elbow surgery is going well.

Tanaka has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings in two spring training starts, striking out five and allowing just two hits despite pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that he’s “pleased with the way he’s throwing” and Matthews writes that Tanaka “looked free, easy, and in control” in his most recent outing.

Prior to his elbow giving out last season Tanaka was in the mix for the Cy Young award, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 141/21 K/BB ratio in 136 innings.