TAMPA, Fla. — Masahiro Tanaka suffered a slight UCL tear in his right elbow in 2014, but the injury didn’t require surgery and hasn’t given him any issues since he came back from it late that season.
There may be a time when he no longer is asked about that. That time was not Thursday.
Tanaka struggled to answer a question regarding what he was told about the elbow by doctors in their most recent evaluation. That’s because it had been so long since it was evaluated in that context.
“I actually don’t remember when I had the last real assessment with the doctor,” Tanaka said through his translator. “We come to spring training and the doctor asks me about it, but it’s just an ‘Is it OK?’ type of conversation. That’s as far as I can answer on that one.”
At the time of the injury, three of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country evaluated Tanaka and recommended rest and rehab rather than Tommy John surgery because the tear was so small.
“The assessment from the doctors was, ‘You’re going to be OK without going with the surgery,’ ” Tanaka said. “I took that word and it’s been good so far.”
Tanaka, expected to slot into the rotation behind Luis Severino or newly acquired lefthander James Paxton, is 64-34 with a 3.59 ERA in five years with the Yankees, including 12-6 with a 3.75 ERA last season.
New daddy Dellin
Dellin Betances has not reported to camp. He was excused by the club because he’s been with his wife, Janisa, who gave birth to a son, Dellin Jr., on Wednesday.
“Everything’s going well,” Aaron Boone said. “We expect him here probably in the next few days, but first things first — about getting the baby and mom and everyone home healthy. Don’t expect it to be too long, but I don’t have a specific date yet.”