Tanaka’s comeback is fraught with concerns and hope in equal measure

Tanaka was brilliant last season. He was not expected to be as good as he was by a lot of baseball media types and even fans. They all scratched their heads when the Yanks announced Tanaka as a new pitcher for the team. Just who was this guy? Was he going to be worth the money? Will he be as good as The Yankees front office seemed to think he was?
But there was no need to worry. He was brilliant really. One of the best pitchers in the league. It wasn’t until his injury that sidelined him, that he didn’t play to the standards that he had set for himself. But then as if true to form he managed to comeback and play as if nothing too serious had happened. That is the wonderful thing about Tanaka. He never seems to be phased by the way people don’t seem to expect too much from him, or even the pressure of expectation from the fans. He is it would appear immune to the expectations (low or otherwise) of others. But focused only on doing his best by his own standards. You have to admire a man like that.
His comeback will see him face the same questions as before, the same worries about if he will be able to handle the conditions he faces. This time not due to concerns over his ability, but whether his arm will hold up for the season, and whether he will have to go for the surgery that everyone seems to think is inevitable. The signs are all good. The Yanks are confident enough to the point he is projected in the number one slot of the starting rotation for the Yankees. But with the Yanks talking about a sixth man on the rotation perhaps they are thinking of trying to protect their guy by putting him on the Japanese style roatation giving him an extra day off between games.
That would be a great thing for some of the other guys too, Sabathia and Pineda also are coming back from injury ruined seasons, and with a long run of games coming up in April they will need all the help they can get to make sure they can get through the season unscathed. With Eovaldi and and Capuano are thought to be in the original rotation for the season, but they are also giving a number of other pitchers that could slot into the rotation and are building them up as starters this spring.
Friday is the first official day of baseball activity as catchers and pitchers turn up to begin Spring Training proper. After that the games will begin. What an exciting propspect for us. Seasons Greetings indeed.


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