But call me skeptical that this will work -- rest didn't work for Matt Harvey or most of the pitchers who ultimately needed Tommy John surgery. As ESPN's Wally Matthews points out, if Tanaka were to get the surgery now, he would be ready by next year's All-Star break. If he doesn't, he won't be back until 2016. As Matthews writes:
It's not my money, my player or my team, but if it was, I'd seek a fourth opinion on Tanaka's torn UCL, and then offer one of my own. Do the surgery now. Get it over with, get the rehab started, and get Tanaka back on the mound as quickly and as safely as possible.I agree -- I think this is just prolonging the inevitable.
But Brian (Supergenius) Cashman contends that this program has worked for lots of Yankee pitchers, although he refused to name a single one, saying "I wouldn't say" who was able to stave off TJS by rest and rehab.
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com writes about Cashman's bizarre assertion:
But it might already be hard for fans to remain confident in Tanaka's plan. That's because neither Cashman nor Girardi offered examples of previous success stories. In Cashman's case, he didn't want to discuss them. "Some of which are pitching elsewhere," he said. "Some of which have pitched for us in the past and now retired. Some of which, you know, we have in the minors."Okay, Brian. Name one! Is that too much to ask for? You would think that if multiple Yankees in the organization had been able to successfully rehab a torn UCL by rest and rehab, that Cashman would be pleased to reveal their names, especially given that the track record on this issue in MLB isn't good -- virtually everybody with a torn UCL ends up needing Tommy John surgery. Yes, Adam Wainwright was able to put off the surgery for a few years, but he still needed it.
Or maybe Cashman is, you know, full of it. Shocker.
And so much for that tough New York media. Kuty is the only one I could find who questioned Cashman's ridiculous claims. He writes regarding Cashman and Joe Girardi contending that this had worked for others (but Girardi, unlike Cashman, never contended they were people in the Yankee organization):
But the way showing your work earned you extra points on an elementary school mat test, dropping a few names might instill confidence in those paying for seats and beers and hot dogs at Yankee Stadium when they feel like their team's playoff hopes are hanging by a partially torn ligament.Yeah, like that will ever happen. Cashman is the Teflon GM in this town, and the next time he is confronted on his nonsense by the NYC media will be the first time! No, we're just all supposed to believe his lies about all those successful Yankee pitchers who miraculously avoided Tommy John surgery by rest and rehab. Good grief.