BOSTON - Monday will go a long way toward determining whether Masahiro Tanaka will pitch again this season.
"We said three weeks was the mark," Joe Girardi said Sunday night.
Tanaka, who is on the disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, received a platelet-rich plasma injection three weeks ago, the first step in a rehab process the Yankees hope will allow him to avoid Tommy John surgery.
Tanaka saw his doctor Friday, Girardi said, and will be examined again Monday. At that point, he could be green-lighted to start throwing, possibly even later in the day.
"Catch or no catch," Girardi said in boiling down the two possible outcomes of the appointment.
Should Tanaka receive the go-ahead to start throwing, he still would be, at best, about a month away from a return.
"Brian [Cashman], when it happened, said September," Girardi said. "[The doctor] will see him and we'll decide if he's going to play catch."
Carlos Beltran entered Sunday night in his best stretch of the season, hitting .375 (21-for-56) in his previous 15 games.
"I think he's just being the player we thought he'd be," Girardi said. "It was just a matter of time."
The Fenway Park radar gun had Dellin Betances twice hitting 101 mph Saturday during his 12/3 scoreless innings.
"When you start going over 95 [mph], each mile an hour, I think there's significant difference," Girardi said. "If it's 100, it's pretty special."
Girardi said he is not worried that Betances is pitching to the radar gun, trying to put up eye-popping speeds. "That's a concern," he said, speaking in general terms about young pitchers. "But I don't see him looking at the radar gun every pitch to see where he is."
Girardi said he was more than pleased two games into the Stephen Drew experiment at second base, a position the career-long shortstop had not played until Friday night.
"He's looked pretty good to me," Girardi said. "He's seemed to make the plays that he needs to make, he seems to be in the spots where he needs to be. So far, so good."