"I think I have a chance, if everything progresses the way I want it to and we want it to," Tanaka said. Tanaka believes that it is possible he will make it back to the big leagues in September. Each session without discomfort is encouraging to manager Joe Girardi, who said that Tanaka will have a scheduled day off from throwing on Thursday and then will get back to work in Florida on Friday. Tanaka still needs to advance to throwing bullpen sessions and batting practice, then facing hitters in games, but said that he feels no pain in his elbow. Masahiro Tanaka took another step towards what he hopes will be a return to the New York Yankees this season, throwing 10 pitches off flat ground in the outfield at Camden Yards before Wednesday night's Yankees-Orioles game. But after consultations with three leading orthopedic surgeons, including Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad and Tommy John surgery specialist Dr. James Andrews, the Yankees opted to treat Tanaka with a combination of a platelet-rich plasma injection into the elbow followed by a controlled throwing program. But his throwing session on Wednesday was the first time he threw actual pitches, all fastballs, at a distance of approximately 60 feet to Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild.