Michael Pineda will begin minor league rehab assignment on SaturdayBy
5:39pm: Cashman confirmed Pineda was sitting 93 and touching 94 yesterday, according to Andy McCullough. Just in case you were wondering.
12:00pm: Via Dan Martin & Brian Lewis: Right-hander Michael Pineda will begin an official 30-day minor league rehab assignment with High-A Tampa on Saturday. He came through yesterday’s 65-pitch Extended Spring Training outing just fine after cracking a fingernail last week. There have been no issues with his surgically repaired shoulder.
Brian Cashman has indicated the team will use all 30 days of the rehab assignment — so five or six starts, basically — before deciding whether the 24-year-old Pineda will be put into the big league rotation or sent to Triple-A for further fine-tuning. That decision will depend as much on the state of the rotation as it will his readiness, I think. It’s worth noting that if the Yankees send Pineda for Triple-A for roughly two weeks — after the rehab is over, it has to be an official optional assignment — they will delay his free agency by a year. That will essentially “buy back” the 2012 season they lost to injury.