CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Allowing nine runs in the last two innings wasn’t the worst thing that happened to the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
General manager Brian Cashman said in a conference call during the game that Tanaka could return in six weeks, but didn’t rule out the possibility of Tommy John surgery if the right-hander doesn’t respond to a rehab program.
“Certainly disappointed for our player, for our organization,” Cashman said. “He’s been an important piece. We have a tremendously gifted and tough player. We’ll see how he responds.”
“It is what it is,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re not going to have him for at least six weeks and that’s the tough part, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have him back.”
Tanaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and had an MRI in New York, one day after his worst major league outing. He flew to Seattle on Thursday.
Cashman said Tanaka saw three doctors, including Yankees head physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, and all three agreed that a six-week rehab program was the best option at this time.
“If we knew today that the best course of action was Tommy John surgery, despite the name and the amount of the investment, we would be doing Tommy John surgery,” Cashman said.
Girardi, looking for any positive sign, said, “Guys have had success doing this and we’ll keep our fingers crossed. That gives you reason for optimism that he’s going to pitch again for us this year.”
Prior to the announcement, Girardi told WFAN radio: “As we’ve always said, no one is going to feel sorry for you. We just have to go out and win games.”