COMMENTARY | To make room for Brennan Boesch on the team's 40-man roster, the New York Yankees moved Michael Pineda to the 60-day disabled list last week. While the move didn't come as a surprise, the lack of another Pineda setback this spring has.
Pineda was initially expected to be ready for opening day. However, setbacks to the hard-throwing right-hander had him off the Yankees' radar screen. Slowly but surely, though, the Yankees are preparing Pineda, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder last May, to make his debut around June.
In late-January, the right-hander began tossing from a half mound. Last month, it was fastballs from a mound. Now, reports the Yes Network, Pineda is throwing bullpen sessions that have included throwing sliders off a mound for the first time.
Barring any more setbacks, Pineda seems on track to join the team by the All-Star break, although it's unclear what his role will be. The Yankees already have two pitchers competing for the fifth starter spot (Ivan Nova and David Phelps) and both have been impressive.
Hal Steinbrenner, meanwhile, recently told reporters that, if he was presented with swapping former prospect Jesus Montero for Pineda, he'd make the trade again.
"That is a trade I would do again tomorrow," Steinbrenner told the Daily News. "It's going to be a good one. It's case by case. We do the same thing every year at the offseason. We leave no stone unturned, no possibility unlooked at. We do what we feel is best for the franchise and what we feel is best for us to field a championship-caliber team for the fans. That's not going to change. It never will."
Howard Z. Unger is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 15 years, he has written about sports, media, and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, New York Post, and New York Times.
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- Michael Pineda
- Brennan Boesch