Throw another wrench in the Yankees playoff hopes. Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a mild flexor strain and is expected to at least miss his next start.
Tanaka was having his best season in the bigs this year and has transitioned into an ace. The effects of losing him even for one start are absolutely devastating to the Yankee playoff push.
Though this is not directly related to the arm problems that Tanaka had experienced prior. It does warrant some concern.
The odds on favorite right now to start if Tanaka would presumably be Luis Severino. Although since he has been so good out of the bullpen. You may see the Yankees try to piece together an outing through the bullpen. A lot of that will probably be factored into how they play over the next four games before Tanaka’s next turn in the rotation.
Tanaka’s health is more important than chasing the second wild card. The Yankees should proceed with caution with Tanaka to ensure he is healthy. Tanaka is the Yankee ace on a rotation maligned with injuries and uncertainties. Tanaka would be a detrimental loss to the Yankees for seasons to come.
If this is the end of Tanaka’s season he finished the season with 14-4 with a 3.07ERA. Tanaka told Bryan Hoch that he wasn’t concerned and was confident “he could return strong this season” if the Yankees struggle over their next four games the Yankees may be wise to shut him down for the season.
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