It’s been 12 days since a 112 MPH line drive off of Giancarlo Stanton’s bat struck Masahiro Tanaka on the side of the head, sending him tumbling to the ground. Tanaka was taken to the hospital immediately after the incident where he was diagnosed with a mild concussion. However, this hasn’t stopped him from getting right back to work. Since his short stay in the hospital on July 4, Tanaka has made almost unbelievable progress.
Despite still being under MLB’s concussion protocol, Tanaka told media during a press conference that he has “no symptoms at all”. Given his lack on symptoms, Tanaka, whose proven himself to be an absolute beast, was back on an exercise routine almost immediately.
Masahiro Tanaka continued to exercise today. Aaron Boone said that they're taking it slowly, but that Tanaka is doing well.
Only a few days after that, Tanaka was back on the field running and throwing on flat ground. He looked to be in high spirits laughing and smiling with his coaches and teammates, and even launched a ball into the second deck after rain cut practice short earlier this week, waving to his imaginary fans.
Now Tanaka has taken the last big step to get himself ready to be part of the rotation. on Thursday, Tanaka stepped back on the mound throwing a 30 pitch bullpen, more pitches than originally expected. Tanaka, of course, played no games and quickly amped up the intensity, topping out at 91 MPH. Tanaka is now scheduled to throw his next bullpen on Sunday, and could potentially face batters in the coming week depending on how the next session plays out.
Masahiro Tanaka threw a 30-pitch bullpen at higher intensity than expected, Matt Blake said. He looked "crisp" and his velocity was 88-91 mph.
Next bullpen is Sunday, then he could face hitters next week.
If things continue to go as planned for Tanaka, it’s possible he would only miss his first start of the season. At this rate, we may see Tanaka jump back into his third spot after the first full rotation.