Masahiro Tanaka gave the New York Yankees another dud of a performance on Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox.
Over the last month, Tanaka’s struggles have gone from bad to worse. In a season that started out well for him, Tanaka’s 2017 year is slowly spiraling out of control.
Tanaka’s body language is obvious on the mound, as he is growing more frustrated with his command and ability. Plus, he’s now surrendering a startling amount of home runs; he gave up three in the 5-4 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Right now, the Yankees still have a slight lead in the American League East, but it’s slipping. With each loss he takes, Tanaka doesn’t help the Yankees cause for a potential postseason run. Masahiro Tanaka is supposed to be the team’s ace and since the middle of May, he’s been anything but.
Despite the struggles on the mound, the Yankees are still viewed as a contender and have exceeded everyone’s expectations. But as the season goes on, the Yankees can’t keep having this automatic loss when Tanaka takes the mound. Your ace is supposed to be the guy that is the stopper. Masahiro Tanaka was that until last month, now he’s the opposite.
Because of this, it’s going to force the Yankees to make a trade next month. We’ve all talked about the rumors of them looking at the pitching market. If Tanaka were pitching better, maybe a trade doesn’t happen because it’s not a pressing issue.
Tanaka is making the Yankees need to acquire more pitching a growing one with each passing bad outing. It might force the Yankees to overpay for someone like Gerrit Cole, who hasn’t exactly been great lately. It might force the Yankees to overpay for Jose Quintana. It might force the Yankees to overpay for Yu Darvish or Jeremy Hellickson. Those are some of the starters who could be available. And it’s some of the starters that are likely to be discussed next month.
The Yankees definitely have the prospects needed if they want to make a deal. Given Brian Cashman’s track record, he knows how to make the right deal when needed. So he won’t be so quick to unload all of his best players from the farm system.
But with Tanaka’s continued struggles, it’s not helping the Yankees cause in 2017. The Yankees know they can win this season. They’ve been one of the best teams in the American League during the first two months. In order for that to continue, something has to change.
Masahiro Tanaka either has to start pitching better, or the Yankees have to make a move for another starter. For the Yankees sake, they hope he will figure it out sooner than later.
If not, Brian Cashman will soon be on the phone looking to make a deal.