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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: MASAHIRO TANAKA SP NEW YORK YANKEES

When you have given up 7 home runs in your last 7 innings pitched, Houston we have a very big problem.  That is exactly the amount of long balls New York Yankees "ace" Masahiro Tanaka has given up in his last two outings and needless to say, he has arguably been one of the biggest pitching busts of the season.  Of course yours truly once again told you to avoid drafting Tanaka this season, with his ADP putting him in SP 2 territory.  Ever since a partial tear in his UCL was discovered, Tanaka has been a ticking time bomb where one pitch could send him right to Tommy John surgery.  While there has been zero talk about Tanaka being hurt, the fact of the matter is that he is more hittable than ever before as he sits with a ghastly 6.56 ERA and an unfathomable 2.44 HR/9 rate.  Also it stands to reason that maybe the tear has grown and that Tanaka's stuff has lost some more pop like it first did when the tear was discovered.

At first glance, the obvious issue are the home runs and this has been a problem for Tanaka going back to his rookie year.  Already Tanaka has given up 13 home runs in just 48 innings pitched and thus every single start is now at risk for blowing up due to a few misplaced pitches,.  Again going back to when the tear in his UCL was first discovered, Tanaka has given up 25 and 22 home runs in the two complete seasons since and he is on pace to approach 30 in 2017.  That simply won't work for any pitcher in fantasy baseball and that is especially true for those who had such a lofty draft price.

In addition to the home runs, Tanaka continues to leak strikeouts as his K/9 has gone from an ace-like 9.31 as a rookie, down to 8.12 in 2015, and further down to 7.44 a year ago.  This season?  Try 7.31 as Tanaka is clearly on a downward trend.  Combined with the home runs and Tanaka is a major liability in all fantasy baseball leagues and if not for his name brand, likely would have been rotting on the waiver wire.

When you put it all together, Masahiro Tanaka has to be benched in all leagues for those who are still holding onto him.  I have zero shares in Tanaka and have not owned him since he was a rookie and this is what I was afraid of.  It doesn't look like it will end well either so feel free to cut him loose if need be.


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