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Yankees put Pineda in rotation

The SportsXchange

Right-hander Michael Pineda will be the New York Yankees' fifth starter when the regular season begins next week.

After missing the past two seasons because of shoulder surgery, Pineda returned this spring and won the job over David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, manager Joe Girardi announced Tuesday before the Yankees played the Philadelphia Phillies in a Grapefruit League game.

In 15 innings during spring training, Pineda has 16 strikeouts, one walk and a 1.20 ERA.

The former All-Star for the Seattle Mariners was traded to the Yankees in 2012 for prospect Jesus Montero but suffered a torn labrum and has yet to pitch for New York in a major league game.

Pineda will follow Japanese start Masahiro Tanaka, who will make his major-league debut on April 5 against the Toronto Blue Jays, in the rotation. The Yankees' starters for the season-opening series against the Houston Astros next week will be CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova.

Also expected to play in the opening series is outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who returned Tuesday after being sidelined the past 1 1/2 weeks by right calf tightness. He went 1 for 4 with two walks and an RBI as a designated hitter in a minor league intrasquad game.
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