After throwing off flat ground multiple times during the week, Tanaka is now ready to toss a 25-pitch session from the bump, per Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network:
— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 15, 2014
This news comes after it was reported that Tanaka is feeling no pain in his elbow and is optimistic about returning this season.
General Manager Brian Cashman has already stated the Yankees do have a return date targeted for Tanaka, but he wouldn't go into specifics and said it would be around the first week of September.
If he can return, Tanaka will have avoided Tommy John surgery for now, but there is no telling if he'll need it in the future. Plenty of pitchers over the years have opted not to have the surgery and healed, only to later need the pitcher's worst enemy.
With the way the Yankees are playing, getting Tanaka back might not make a difference. After all, it's offense that is the Yanks' biggest problem at this stage of the season, not pitching.
Tanaka isn't going to grab a bat and turn into Babe Ruth anytime soon, so there's only so much he can do. Should the Yanks fall farther out of contention before Tanaka takes the mound, it may be wiser to err on the side of caution and sit the Japanese star the rest of the way.
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