9 Jul 2014
This much we know, the Yankees have placed Tanaka on the DL. What we don’t know is what is wrong with him beyond elbow “discomfort”. He is heading back to NY for tests, which makes the DL move even more curious as wouldn’t the normal way to handle this be to run the tests and then decide on the DL? But the Yankees didn’t go that route and now we are left to wonder how bad this injury is?
Let’s take a step back and assess the current state of the Yankees. The good news is that they are 3-1/2 games out of a playoff spot. The bad news is they are one game over .500 and have given up 32 more runs than they have scored and 4/5’s of their Opening Day rotation is on the DL. Baseball Prospectus gives them a 25% chance of making the playoffs.
Now back to Tanaka. I think we can all agree that without Tanaka, the Yankees’ odds of making the playoffs grow much, much smaller. Clearly, if he is out for a lengthy period of time, the Yankees need to think strongly about next year. Even if he isn’t, when does a pitcher ever make it back in his expected recovery time?
So I would say that barring incredibly good news, this is the sign that the Yankees need to get them to start building for 2015. The question is, will they?