TODAY: Tanaka has been diagnosed with a mild concussion, Boone told the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert and other media. The manager is hopeful that Tanaka will be recovered for the start of the season.
SATURDAY, 6:58PM: Tanaka has been released from hospital, the Yankees announced.
6:14PM: Tanaka will indeed go into concussion protocol, manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters, though Tanaka had a negative CT scan. Boone believes Tanaka will be released from hospital tonight.
5:30PM: In a very scary moment during a Yankees simulated game today, Masahiro Tanaka was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. Tanaka was on the ground for several minutes before walking off the field accompanied by two club trainers.
As per a statement from the Yankees, Tanaka has been “sent to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for further evaluation and testing,” and the right-hander “is currently alert, responsive and walking under his own power.” It’s obviously great news that Tanaka may have escaped serious injury, though the Yankees are likely to be as cautious as possible in monitoring the hurler for any concussion symptoms before he returns to Summer Camp.
Tanaka is projected to line up behind newly-acquired ace Gerrit Cole in a rotation that is also expected to feature James Paxton, J.A. Happ, and Jordan Montgomery, though it’s possible the Yankees could work a sixth starter into the mix or use openers or piggyback starters until the rotation is fully ramped up. The 31-year-old Tanaka is entering his seventh and what could be his final season in the pinstripes, as he is slated to enter free agency this winter. A concussion (or any sort of injury) would be of particular concern to Tanaka in this shortened season, as he would have even less time to get back to full health and pitch effectively enough to position himself for another contract in the offseason.