McCoy Stadium has seen many Red Sox players walk the field during their rehab assignments. It was a Yankee star who took the center stage on Wednesday.
Yankees ace Masahiro Takaka made his second rehab start against the PawSox after he was released from an injured elbow and wrist. Tanaka tried to increase his workload after a May 21 41-pitch effort in which he threw 3 scoreless innings. He hopes to quickly return to New York’s lineup.
He looked healthy at his beginning, but he was far from an ace.
Tanaka had a slow start to the first. His first pitch was thrown off the right field wall by Jackie Bradley Jr., for a double. He was able to score one run on Travis Shaw’s sacrifice fly, despite loading the bases without any outs. Although his command was not very good, he was able escape the jam with just two strikeouts.
The PawSox hitters were even harder on him in his second inning. After Deven Marrero walked, Humberto Quintero threw out Deven Marrero with a fastball to the right field. Bradley was brought to the plate once again by Mike Miller’s hard ground ball. He smashed Tanaka’s pitch over the RF wall and scored a home run. His third and final outing was his best as he retired the team in order.
Tanaka lacked the command and stuff. Although Tanaka was able to hit 93 MPH, it wasn’t enough to fool Pawtucket hitters. Many pitches were in the strike zone.
Tanaka said that despite his less-than stellar performance, he felt “absolutely fine” after the game.
Tanaka stated, “Obviously, I wasn’t at the best, missing some spots or giving up hits.” “I’m trying to pitch the best I can.” While there will be some ups and downs throughout the season, I must keep my eyes on the prize: to be at my best.
The decision about where he will pitch next has yet to be made. There was a chance that his rehab results would have been better if he had gotten better. He is ready to pitch for the Yankees, and he will. However, he cannot make that decision.
Tanaka stated, “I’ll be watching how I feel tomorrow and talking with the manager/trainers, but they will decide.” “I was pleased that I was able to go 65 pitches and felt strong. Plus, my slider was better than the last outing.
Tanaka is likely to be pitching at a pitch count around 85, regardless of whether he plays in the major leagues or the minor leagues. It will be up to the Yankees whether those 85 pitches are a benefit to their big league team.