On Saturday, New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka threw a 34-pitch bullpen session. He has not appeared in a game since July 8 and had his comeback to the Majors stopped by soreness a few weeks back. He needs to certain if his partially torn elbow ligament can handle the task of pitching.
He claims his arm is much stronger and he believes that he needs to pitch again this season. Tanaka may want to pitch again in 2014 but he needs to test his arm to see if he will need Tommy John surgery, which has destroyed many pitchers this season.
Tanaka felt the general elbow soreness after throwing a simulated game on August 28, which caused the team to shut down his rehab for quite some time.
The doctors have told the Yankees that he can pitch without surgery, however, it is really up to Tanaka and how he feels about throwing the baseball. He wants to see how his arm responds before he takes any vital chances.
Even if Tanaka cannot pitch in the Majors again this season, the Yankees will get him into a game somehow, possibly in the instructional league.
Tanaka said, "I think I need to pitch again this year, to get a better feel of how I can, when I'm 100 percent, in a game."
Tanaka, 25, went 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.005 WHIP for the Yankees this season. He had been the most reliable pitcher for his club until he was injured. Tanaka was on average to go 23-8 and throw two shutouts and six complete games, however he only threw one shutout and three complete games because of the injury. Only time will tell for Tanaka.