New York Sports: Ranking the Top 25 Athletes of 2014

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Sep 27, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

4.) Masahiro Tanaka

In 2014 the best player for the Yankees was their star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who pitched in his first season in the MLB after years of success in Japan.

Tanaka got off to a ridiculous start to the season in 2014, as he started with a 12-4 record, but in Cleveland against the Indians, he was roughed up and it was found that he had a partial tear of his UCL ligament, which usually requires the dreaded Tommy John surgery.

Tanaka and the Yankees decided against surgery and went with a rehab program instead that has seemed to have worked, as Tanaka was able to return for two more starts to end the season.

He finished the 2014 season with a 13-5 record and an ERA of 2.77, which earned him a spot on the All-Star team even though he was unable to pitch. Entering 2015, Tanaka will be asked to be the Yankees’ ace, and hopefully his elbow will be able to hold up.

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