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Tanaka Injury Will Prove to be Much More Costly

Major League Baseball is going to have to finally make the designated hitter rule unanimous across both leagues.  The staunchly old school emotion that pitchers batting adds strategy to the game and makes managing more complex is hogwash.

Watching pitchers bat is like watching paint dry.  Watching American League pitchers bat is like watching dry paint dry, nothing happens, or worse, something bad happens.

For the New York Yankees it’s like deja-vu all over again.  That’s right, they already watched this happen to a promising young Asian pitcher Chien-Ming Wang and now it’s gritty veteran Masahiro Tanaka who’s on the DL, thanks to batting during an inter-league game.

On the surface it looks like the Yankees lost their number two pitcher and one of the pillars to their post season run.  Yet, when we look a bit deeper, the Tanaka injury will cost the Yankees much more.  Much more than just the innings and wins, much more than having the backbone of veteran leadership as they head into the post season, the Tanaka injury is going to cost the Yankees prospects, the crown jewels of the newly acclaimed Baby Bombers.

No, the injury to Tanaka means there’s a huge void in a somewhat suspect pitching rotation.  With Jordan Montgomery lost to Tommy John surgery and CC Sabathia one cheeseburger away from an injury or retirement, the Yanks staff is looking vulnerable.  Although the teams gotten a few timely and resourceful starts from call-ups like Domingo German, there’s a big question if this rotation can sustain their winning ways.

When I look at the list of prospects just on the outside of the current 25-man roster I see names like Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield and cringe knowing that they may never see success in the Bronx.  At least not wearing pinstripes.

Frazier seems like he’s going to be an exciting player to watch and will likely have a solid career.  Ala a Fred Lynn, Kevin Pillar and Brett Gardner, Frazier just has to make sure he doesn’t injure himself as he throws his body around the outfield.

With Tanaka down, Frazier is the most valuable and likely commodity in the Yankee trading arsenal to be moved.  His style of play would fit well in cities like St. Louis, San Francisco and Chicago where feisty players are treated well by the fans.

The question becomes what starting pitchers are available and who do the Yankees covet?

A few names are already being bantered about and the name Cole Hammels has come up on more than one occasion.  Diehard Yankee fans will tell you that Bumgarner and deGrom are in the mix, but no one really knows.  One thing for certain, this is when Brian Cashman earns his paycheck and I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow the Yankees end up with two new starters.  The Yanks are on the clock and we’ll know soon.

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