While GM Brian Cashman and his team are working to bolster their pitching staff before today's 4 p.m. trade deadline, the current Yankees rotation arms are trying to figure out what is going wrong since the All-Star break.
And one of them is going through some "drastic" changes.
Masahiro Tanaka absolutely imploded in his last start against the Red Sox, posting 12 earned runs on 12 hits (two homers) over 3.1 innings back on July 25. It is by far his worst start of this season and possibly his career.
Looking to never replicate that outing ever again, Tanaka went back to the drawing board. And this time, he erased everything and started from scratch with his go-to pitch.
"I've always, up to this point, tried to stick with the grip that I've always used for the splitter and made small adjustments in order to get the movement that I want,'' Tanaka told The Post's Dan Martin through a translator. "You get good results and bad results and the difference between the two are so big. When it's good, it's really good, but when it's bad, obviously, it's been very bad. I thought I needed to make a different type adjustment here. That's the biggest reason I went to something as drastic as changing the grip."
Tanaka's nasty splitter hasn't been the same this season. The velocity has remained the same (87.4 compared to 87 last season), yet the break and control hasn't been the same.
The baseball itself, which many pitchers have been vocal about, appears to have lower seams. It has been forcing pitchers to re-invent some of their signatures pitches, and Tanaka's predicament makes sense considering how vital his seam grip is to the drop in his splitter.
Working with the new grip, he said "I guess we'll see" after noting he thinks it felt good.
The Yankees will certainly hope that is the case moving forward, as the team looks to kill their starter slump.
"Everyone had a rough go one time through," manager Aaron Boone said. "The fact it all happened in a week makes it difficult."
Tanaka will look to start a new trend on Wednedsay when he gets the ball against the Diamondbacks. Hopefully that new splitter grip can stump his opponent.