Pedro Martinez is going into the Hall of Fame this summer, in part, because he always seemed to be a step ahead, seeing the game at a higher level.
So when he says that Masahiro Tanaka doesn't look right, it might be worth listening. After missing 10 weeks last season with a torn ligament in his elbow, Tanaka is trying to return to ace form. Martinez says he won't make it.
“I don’t see him healthy all year,” Martinez told Adam Schein on Sirius/XM's Mad Dog Radio. “And I don’t see him healthy right now. I’ll be brave enough to say he’s not completely healthy right now.”
Martinez says Tanaka -- 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA, 13 strikeouts, one walk and a .228 batting average against in 14 2/3 spring innings -- looks tentative.
“Tanaka is not healthy right now because I believe Tanaka is hesitant to let it go,” said Martinez, an analyst for TBS and MLB Network. “Tanaka is hanging all those breaking balls that he is throwing.
“The only pitch he is committing to is the split finger and his problems are actually in a place where you don’t need to put any more stress, which is the elbow. And he’s hesitant. He’s hesitating to throw his fastball and he’s hanging every breaking ball he’s throwing out there. Plus his velocity is not there yet.”
Tanaka, who is scheduled to start on Opening Day against the Blue Jays Monday, may only escape this year healthy by a “magic trick,” Martinez said.
Martinez, on a positive note, added that Michael Pineda has the "tools" to be a No. 1. But you don't have to be a Hall of Famer to know know that.