Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed the worst possible news during Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Indians, saying that right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Seen by three different doctors, the recommended route for Tanaka is to try rehabbing the injury first, which would keep him out of the big leagues for at least six weeks -- nobody said that he should undergo Tommy John surgery just yet.
Tanaka will have a platelet rich plasma injection next week in New York, and then attempt to begin a throwing program. Should things not work out, Tommy John will be the next step and we won't see Tanaka again until sometime late next season.
With pitchers left and right having to undergo Tommy John this year, this is just another devastating blow to not only the Yankees for losing their best pitcher and most watchable player this season, but to Major League Baseball for losing one of it's best young stars.
Tanaka last pitched on Tuesday for the Yankees, giving up five runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 inning. He was having a great rookie season up to this point, going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and 135/19 K/BB ratio in 129 1/3 innings over 18 starts.
This is really that worst possible thing that could happen to the Yankees this season. Losing CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova for the year and Michael Pineda for several months is one thing, but losing Tanaka for at least six weeks while trying compete for a playoff spot is the worst.
I'll be over in the corner crying in case you're looking for me. If I grab the gun, please take it away.