Michael Pineda will begin minor league rehab assignment on Saturday


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.

Categories : Asides, Injuries


  1. SDB says:

    So if two weeks in AAA will give the Yankees another year of team control before free agency… it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

    Can’t wait to see him pitch though. Just get that man a better manicurist – can’t have more broken fingernails.

    • mitch says:

      I’d imagine it’s a no-brainer unless there are multiple injuries to the staff and he’s truly needed. The pressure it really going to be on all starters except CC, Kuroda and Andy if Pineda regains form.

      • SDB says:

        It’s two, maybe three starts at most. And if there are injuries or more horror Phil Hughes outings, they could always call back Nuno who’s been great, or give Warren a shot.

      • Laz says:

        If he is as good as expected they are better off just riding with Nuno for the few starts. We will be glad in 2016 when we still have him.

  2. Dalek Jeter says:

    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.

    Won’t the union have something to say about that? I mean if he comes through all his rehab games strong and healthy and is just blowing guys away…wouldn’t the Players Union file a grievance?

    • pat says:

      “We don’t feel Michael is ready for the majors yet”

      The Players Union can’t say sh*t about it.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        I’m not sure how the CBA works in this case, but I mean how can they say that if he’s crushing the minors, and has an All-Star season in his back pocket.

        • jsbrendog says:

          he is coming off a serious injury and we want to make sure his stamina is where it needs to be and that he doesn’t push himself or reinjure himself since this injury came from pushing himself too far and hiding it. and we want him to be a big part of this team for years to come.


          • The Real Me says:

            And who’s to say that just because he’s crushing the minors that he’s ready for the MLB? Look at CMW. Killing it at AAA, yet no big league offers.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      They could, but it won’t lead to anything. Brewers and Marlins sent down Hardy and Morrison in recent years even though they were among their best hitters at the time, and the union couldn’t do anything. With Pineda coming off the injury, I can’t imagine any case the union makes would hold water.

  3. Ed says:

    The Union can’t dictate roster management. If he has options, the team can option him whenever they feel like it. The only time they can complain is if you try to option an injured player instead of putting him on the major league DL. There are rules covering that one specific case.

  4. Joe says:

    Does the 2 weeks have to be immediately after the rehab, or can it be any time this season?

    • Jerkface says:

      It can be any time before he has 5 years of service, but it is easiest to option a player right after their rehab because at this point the Yankees have a full rotation anyways.

      And if he gets optioned later it would probably be due to lack of performance.

      • Jerkface says:

        And specifically it can be any time before he is a free agent but at 5 years of service he can decline being optioned.

  5. Joe says:

    What’s preventing them from just saying that his rehab assignment is 2 weeks and then sending him to triple A for another 2+?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s something. If they activate him early and send him down, then he gets re-injured while in the minors because he was activated too early, his agent and union would flip out.

      • Joe says:

        Why are you more likely to get injured in AAA than on a minor league rehab assignment? Seems to me the only risk involved is on the part of the team, giving him a 40 man spot prematurely.

        • jsbrendog says:

          i don’t think he is saying more likely, esp since a minor league rehab assignment for mlb level players usually IS aaa. what he is saying is that IF they end his rehab early, it would mean he is ready, and if then he is kept in the minors and gets hurt that his agent and and the mlbpa would throw a shitfit because he was actiuvated too early and may have been hurt because of it or something. they’d try to spin it cause it is one giant power struggle

          • Joe says:

            “…his agent and and the mlbpa would throw a shitfit because he was actiuvated too early and may have been hurt because of it or something. ”

            I do understand the point he made, but my (implied) point was: Doesn’t there have to be some factual/logical basis for that argument in order for them to make it? and if so… What ‘hindsight’ argument can be made that the player was at more risk of injury on a “rehab assignment” compared to a “AAA stint”? How could any MLB player be ready for a rehab stint but not ready for AAA? The only thing I can think of is that there is more “pressure” in a real game in AAA, so that put him at additional risk. But if you take that route, then you can easily argue that the Yankees were simply trying to take “jumps” in “game pressure,” from rehab to AAA to majors. I don’t see any legit argument that can be made; an AAA stint seems like a natural progression, especially for a young player.

            • Joe says:

              Point is that if you make any hindsight argument that says that there is a difference between a rehab assignment and AAA stint, you are in essence saying that an AAA stint should have been part of the “rehab plan” to begin with so it’s a non-argument imo.

              However if there is no difference in injury risk, etc, the point that it could be ‘cheating the system’ to move an MLB player from rehab to AAA is a legit gripe. The fact that he is such a young player with only 1 ML season could work in their favor tho.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      A rehabbing player doesn’t count on the 25-man roster. So you’re able to keep an extra player without having to make roster moves.

      • Joe says:

        He wouldn’t count on 25 man while in AAA either, only 40 man. That would be a risk for the Yankees, but would not bother MLB or MLBPA.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Point still stands though, you delay the 40-man roster move for as long as possible. A lot can happen in 2 weeks.

          • Joe says:

            I agree, it does have some value, although not that much, which is why I made that point in my original response (second post). :)

            If it’s an option for them and Pineda is healthy/pitching well in 2 weeks, I think they do it. Lot’s of ifs.

  6. Dalek Jeter says:

    Man if by July we have a rotation of:
    2011-esc Pineda

    Our offense can go on averaging like 3.5 runs a game and we’d still be pretty tough to beat…

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      (getting way too excited about Pineda way too quickly)

      • KeithK says:

        And this is one of the things that’s so wonderful about baseball. Is it realistic to expect that Pineda will suddenly be back to his All Star 2011 form? Probably not. But we can sit and dream about it. Just like we can dream about a second half with a healthy Jeter slashing balls to right field at a .320 clip, a healthy Rodriguez playing to 2010 form, Texeira with no lingering wrist issues hitting like it’s the last decade, Youk and Hafner staying in the lineup and mashing, etc. Will any of this happen? I don’t know. But it’s sure fun to dream about.

        • Dalek Jeter says:

          Oh man Imagine a line up of:

          CF Gardner
          SS Jeter
          3B Youkilis
          2B Cano
          1B Teixeira
          DH Hafner/Rodriguez
          LF Granderson
          RF Ichiro/Wells
          C Cervelli

          With that rotation I mentioned up there. It’s not going to happen, the odds are completely against it…but that’s one hell of a team.

          • jsbrendog says:

            seriously, I hope with all my heart that full time dhing will at least keep arod healthy enough to stay on the field and be able to fully contribute. im a believer that he can still hit well enough to be an above average 3b or one of the top 5-8 dhs.

            • Dalek Jeter says:

              I agree 100%, but the if he stays healthy is the biggest “if” in major league baseball right now.

          • The Real Me says:

            I wouldn’t say the odds are against it. I’m just not sure when it will happen or how long it will last.

            • KeithK says:

              The odds are against all of them being in the lineup at the same time and all of them performing the way we envision them performing.

      • RetroRob says:

        I want to get excited, but I’m still in the camp that he won’t contribute anything meaningful in 2013, which is why I’d reassign him to the minors once his 30-day rehab is up and then have him pitch under controlled circumstances.

        Now if I hear he’s throwing 98 mph and blowing away AAA…

        • jsbrendog says:

          right, we temper our expectations so not only are we not disappointed if he contributes nothing but we have moon bonerz if/when he does.

          • mitch says:

            I’ll be perfectly happy if he just stays healthy for the last few months of the year and throws 93-94. Anything he contributes at the major league level is a bonus.

  7. jjsabo16 says:

    Can the yankees end his rehab assignment early and keep him in the minors, so that they can get the yr back and have him come up as soon as possible?

  8. Brandon Mauk says:

    Trade Hughes before the deadline, roll with this rotation:


    • Jersey Joe says:

      I highly doubt they trade Hughes. Even if his problems persist until the deadline, I think that the Yankees would take him and his playoff experience over that of Phelps, and Pineda may always suffer a setback.

    • So what exactly are you going to get for a pitcher half a season away from FA and has an ERA in the 5′s?


      And if he is pitching to well, he’s too valuable to the team than he would be anywhere else. Hughes isn’t going anywhere.

      Next season though, that is an entirely different story,

      • Brandon Mauk says:

        Believe me, there will be teams that need a 4th starter. Hughes is no different from guys like Jake Westbrook or Jarrod Washburn.

        • jsbrendog says:

          can you name the 2 guys washburn was traded for? nobodies

          what about westbrook? nobodies except for ryan ludwick, who didn’t even go to the team trading westbrook (the indians) but went to the padres


          • KeithK says:

            If in July Pineda is pitching like it’s 2011 and someone offers a top prospect or two for Hughes then I’m sure Cashman would bite. But that’s about as likely as Constanza figuring out a way to get Griffey and Bonds without giving up anything.

    • trr says:

      Remember, Pineda was no better than Hughes the last 3 months he pitched in Seattle

  9. Darren says:

    Hey Mike,

    Was there any word about his velocity and stuff in the most recent outings?

    Humans are eternal optimists and I can’t help but dream about the day the Yankees have a young starter whos’s throwing 95 MPH with movement and just dominating. It would be pretty awesome if it was MP.

  10. RetroRob says:

    It two weeks buys them a year, the entire rotation would need to collapse for him not to be sent down. Two weeks, three starts? Send him down.

    • trr says:

      Agree, and the extra time in the minors may be helpful.

      “Make It So!”

      • jsbrendog says:

        honestly, i’m nervous he tries to push himself too hard again just like he did in the first place…

    • MannyGeee says:

      Agreed, it would have to be a situation where Phelps, Nuno, Nova, Hughes, Wang, and Warren were all unavailable. Thats a tough order to fill.

  11. Jersey Joe says:

    Me gusta.

  12. BeanTooth says:

    I wonder if Montero getting sent down makes it easier for the Yankees to option Pineda to Scanton. If Montero were mashing, the media and a lot of fans would be really letting the team have it, which would put pressure on the FO to get Pineda in the rotation and start performing. But now, most folks have forgotten all about Pineda and the trade, easing pressure on the FO and giving the team the room to take it slow and on the Yanks’ schedule.

    • trr says:

      I’d say gaining another year on Pineda’s contract would still trump that. Everyone seems to be forgetting how Pineda fell to earth the last 3 months he pitched in Seattle. It may be that people are dramatically overvaluing him.

      • jonathan c. says:

        His peripherals were nearly the same in the 2nd half of 2011, if I’m not mistaken.

        • trr says:

          Apr – June ERA 3.03
          July – Sept ERA 5.12

          Also (all of 2011)
          @ Safeco ERA 2.92
          on the road ERA 4.40

          I’d say there’s some concerns here

          • Jim says:

            Those are still pretty great stats for his first full season. And also aren’t the peripherals.

            First half fip/xfip: 3.24/3.68 compared to the 3.03 era
            Second half fip/xfip: 3.78/3.25 compared to the 5.02 era

            So basically he pitched well in both halves; he got a little lucky in the first half, and pretty unlucky in the 2nd half. K Rate didn’t change, walk rate didn’t change.

            • trr says:

              The point isn’t that he wasn’t a promising pitcher; He was/is…More that he seems to be already penciled in by some as a top starter when he clearly isn’t that (at least not yet)

              Here’s 2 more peripherals to chew on: showing up overweight to S/T and shoulder surgery.

          • jsbrendog says:

            yeah, era is not what i would use to judge one bit

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              Yeah, I might even be so bold as to say that the entire point of jonathan’s comment is that the people using ERA and W-L to say he declined are in fact uninformed and taking an overly reductive view of pitcher performance.

          • gc says:

            I’d say there’s more to the story…

            April – 9.11
            May – 8.62
            June – 10.13
            July – 7.68
            Aug – 9.00
            Sep – 8.50

            April – 3.45
            May – 1.97
            June – 3.03
            July – 3.54
            Aug – 2.74
            Sep – 2.50

            April – 0.00
            May – 1.13
            June – 0.93
            July – 1.29
            Aug – 1.57
            Sep – 1.00

            April – 2.26
            May – 3.15
            June – 3.90
            July – 3.74
            Aug – 4.20
            Sep – 3.41

            April – 3.90
            May – 2.98
            June – 4.28
            July – 3.14
            Aug – 3.09
            Sep – 3.44

            His FIP and xFIP remained strong throughout the season and he struck batters out at a VERY nice rate without issuing too many free passes. Yes, he gave up too many homers, but if the Yanks had a 22 year old pitching in the majors who put up those kinds of numbers, we’d be doing cartwheels in the streets! Also, it should be noted that much of Pineda’s “poor” 2nd half was a 3 game stretch sandwiched around the All-Star break where he gave up 19 Runs in 15.2 IP. Yeah, they all count in the end, but I’d just like to point that out. Lots of 22 year olds have a bad stretch of games in their rookie year.

          • Bo Knows says:

            Ignore the fact

            1st half k/9 9.01
            2nd half k/9 9.31

            1st half bb/9 2.87
            2nd half bb/9 2.95

            1st half gb% 31.1
            2nd half gb% 45.6

            here’s the kicker

            In field hits first half 4.4%
            2nd half 9.6%

            more groundballs led to more hits, and led to more runs, he didn’t fade he essentially maintained his strong production. What did change were his ERA

            • trr says:

              Let’s revisit this conversation in September, shall we?

              • Bo Knows says:

                I look forward to trolling you hard this September about your comments

                • trr says:

                  I’ll be here Bo…If I’m wrong, I’ve no problem owning up to it. If I’m right…Hell, I hope I am wrong and Pineda does become a top line starter for us

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                I wish I could have been there to save you from pulling out the “old man” stats, my friend. I wish I could have been there. :)

                I’ve failed you, trr.

                • trr says:

                  Thanks Robby, but I can always handle myself….
                  There’s something about Pineda that gives off a bad smell to me, and no I can’t quite rationalize it, or put it into words. More gut than anything else. Beleive me I’ll happily eat crow if I’m wrong…

          • RetroRob says:

            Dave Cameron at Fangraphs did a nice break down on Pineda in 2011. He did weaken as the season progressed and the Mariners, according to plan, reduced his innings, but overall the conclusion was he was a little lucky in the first half, and a little unlucky in the second, with his overall numbers probapbly a good representation of his rookie year.

            ERA is not the best way to evaluate.

            Regardless, he is now a pitcher with shoulder surgery. His 2011 numbers don’t mean much now. It’s what he is moving forward.

            • trr says:

              thanks, Rob, you said it better than I.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                You brought ERA into the picture as if it were the be all end all.

                If all you said was “He had shoulder surgery and showed up overweight, let’s wait and see”, then I would have had no argument with you.

                • Jim Is Bored says:

                  PS Jim above is me…stupid computer didn’t remember my handle. It’d been too long, apparently.

                • trr says:

                  din’t mean to ignite a mini-firestorm with my critique of Pineda….sometimes I’m dashing comments off on the fly while at work, and don’t have time to dig deep into stats. As I mentioned to Robby, though, Jim, there’s something about Pineda…I hope it’s just something stuck in my head. We’ll all see in due course. Thanks!

    • jsbrendog says:

      the frot office does not cater to the media or fans.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:


      I think Greg hacked your account. You may want to look into that. Just letting you know.

  13. Jerkface says:

    One other thing, the player needs to be in the minors for 20+ days. If its less than 20 days it doesnt count. So closer to 3 weeks than 2. Still not bad. He can come back by the trade deadline!

    • jsbrendog says:

      doesn’t it involve a total number of days spent in the majors? so he has to have a certain amount of service time in the ML in order to qualify. by keeping him down for 2 weeks they would prevent him from reaching it…

      it isn’t a blanket thing.

      • Jerkface says:

        If you don’t stay down for 20 days you get credited with a full year of service time. So you need to miss like 14 days to extend your free agency, but you REALLY need to miss 20 days to get it to count.

  14. shittyshittybangbang says:

    On a side note ……,oh where, oh where can our yasiel puig be ! F – - – , thats gotta be exciting shit for dodger fans. Can you guys ever see nyy bringing up a kid from A ball ?!

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