Update: Michael Pineda has Grade I back strain


11:13pm: The Yankees say Pineda will be out at least 3-4 weeks. I have to think they will be extra careful to make sure he doesn’t somehow hurt his shoulder compensating for the back, so don’t be surprised if he’s out longer than that. See you in June, Big Mike.

11:00pm: The MRI revealed a Grade I strain of teres major muscle in Pineda’s back, the Yankees announced. It’s the same injury that has kept Clayton Kershaw out all month. Pineda will be re-evaluated by team doctor Dr. Ahmad in New York tomorrow. Sure sounds like a DL trip is forthcoming.

4:03pm: Michael Pineda felt some stiffness in his right lat during a simulated game in Tampa earlier today and left after one inning, Joe Girardi told reporters. He is heading for an MRI and his next start is in jeopardy. Pineda is eligible to return from his ten-game suspension on Monday. Girardi confirmed David Phelps would remain in the rotation if need be.

The good news is that the injury doesn’t involve Pineda’s surgically repaired shoulder. Andy Pettitte missed a start with a stiff lat last season and Johnny Cueto missed more than half the season with a lat strain, so this could be nothing or something pretty big. The suspension buys the Yankees some time, which I guess is good, but losing Pineda for any more time beyond that would be a big blow to rotation that is already without Ivan Nova.

Categories : Asides, Injuries


  1. Chip Rodriguez says:

    Oy. This is not good.

    If the games tonight or tomorrow are rained out, does that just push Pineda’s return back further?

  2. RetroRob says:

    Lat? That’s in the back, not the shoulder? Trying to figure out the level of alarm.

  3. mustang says:

    SMH…. this just keeps getting better.

  4. Kevin G. says:

    I blame the Red Sox

  5. FIPster Doofus says:

    Can Stephen Drew pitch?

    • mustang says:

      no but we need him anyway

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        I respectfully disagree.

        The Yankees do not need to spend $10+ mil on a league average SS (career OPS+ = 98) when there appears to be a decent chance they will need to go out and trade for a starting pitcher which may entail taking on salary.

        I think it’s a prudent bet that the Yankees third basemen (Solarte, KJ, Sizemore etc) have as good a season as Drew.

        IMO, the money it would take to acquire Drew is better spent elsewhere.

        • Preston says:

          I love how everybody wants to get an infielder when the Captain, KJ, Solarte and Teixeira are all playing well right now and we still have Anna and Sizemore in AAA for depth (and Brendan Ryan on the mend). Due to injury and ineffectiveness we will need to acquire somebody at some point. That’s just what happens in a 162 game season. But let’s wait until we need them. By then there might be better options as teams drop out of the race and start shopping players. Stephen Drew hasn’t gone anywhere. And at this point it’s worth waiting until after the draft to try and sign him, if we even need him.

  6. Cuso says:

    Uh oh.

    Yet, I’d probably say “uh oh” if I heard that he stubbed his toe, as well.

    We’ll see.

  7. TWTR says:

    I guess this is partly the reason that if you can ever trade him high after the season, it would be something to consider.

    • Preston says:

      Why? Who would you replace him with? All pitchers are basically ticking time bombs. Having a young cost controlled one is better than paying an older FA to replace them.

      • TWTR says:

        If all pitchers are ticking time bombs, then those that have already had major surgery are even more risky. I’m not advocating giving him away, but as Mike mentioned a few weeks back, it’s something to consider if his value goes up a lot.

        • mustang says:

          Agree, but they would have to get major value back.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          As intellectual exercise, sure, if the value is good, you consider it.

          I don’t think a lat issue necessarily makes that any more urgent, though, but that’s not what I hear you saying either. You’ve made this point before his lat was even an issue.

          • TWTR says:

            No, it is just a reminder of his potential fragility.

            To give credit where it is due, I think it was first brought up in a Mailbag to Mike, and it struck me as a legitimate point.

        • Preston says:

          Well FA pitchers come with the added risk of age decline. I would just rather keep the guy we have and spend money on position players, contracts that historically work out better than ones for pitchers. And I don’t buy that his value would be high enough to make it worthwhile. Other teams know his injury history too. And if the Yankees shopped him that would be a huge red flag to others teams that didn’t have access to as much information as the Yankees.

    • qwerty says:

      Which is something they should have done with Nova.

  8. Stratocaster says:

    Just rub some pine tar on that shit and move on.

  9. mustang says:

    Remember the old good days when they had two extra starters in Nuno and Phelps. Oh! yea that was last month!


  10. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Like Mike said, it could be a start, and it could be ten. Who fucking knows. It’s a stiff lat right now. Let’s see what the tests say.

    I’ll just blatantly steal the joke from Stratocaster and have him rub a little pine tar on it. It has natural healing effects.

  11. Algernon Blackwood says:

    Quick, let’s see if we can trade back for Montero

  12. PunkPitch says:

    Convert him to SS, and Culver to SP.

  13. Jersey Joe says:

    Lovely. Just lovely.

  14. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:


    Kershaw has been out with a lat issue and nobody is panicking.

  15. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    We’re in a lot of trouble and once again it falls on the shoulders of BGDP to bail out the team. It was thought with a good outing BGDP would take over the 5th starter’s job from Nuno, but now we need him to be the 3rd starter because CC has fallen to 5th.

  16. Frank says:

    Suddenly, this team has a need for starting pitching. Nova is done. Pineda will be out at least a month, probably longer when factoring rehab starts. CC is a 5 inning, 80 pitch pitcher. Today’s performance will be more the norm, not the exception. Kuroda is not looking too good. What’s left? Tanaka and Phelps. Good luck with that.

  17. No 2013 again says:

    All of a sudden our pitching is Tanaka and a bunch of crap.

  18. forensic says:

    He’s starting to make Josh Johnson look durable.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Maybe. Johnson’s a fucking disaster. I’m nowhere near ready to compare the two.

      • TWTR says:

        I really don’t see this as that big a deal. It’s a setback to be sure, but if the Yankees are being candid, then the bigger picture is still intact.

  19. TWTR says:

    They need the offense to start scoring more runs to compensate.

  20. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    So how does the ability to DL him work during the suspension? Would be nice to get that roster spot back.

    • Promandel says:

      So can we become concerned yet or is it just going to be one start and everyone needs to relax?

      You seem to very rarely be right when telling people what to do. Work on that for me OK, Professor Tool for Days.

    • forensic says:

      Everyone’s been saying you can’t DL him during the suspension, so I guess if he’s not DL’ed tomorrow then we’ll know they were right.

      It doesn’t really matter in this situation, since he’ll be out longer, but I’m curious if they could backdate the DL stint to when he was ejected if it had been something shorter-term or if those games count as if he had played.

  21. RetroRob says:

    Well that sucks.

    Positives: It will be warm when he returns, so he won’t need pine tar. They’ve discovered how to limit his innings on the years.

    Beyond that, well, it sucks.

    • TWTR says:

      Another positive is that they won’t need to worry as much about monitoring his IP this season.

      • forensic says:

        This kind of thing is why it’s so stupid when analysts and other people say that teams should just sit a starter down in April or something if they need to be limited that season (such as was constantly said about Strasburg). You do that, and then an injury like this happens and you’ll never get the guy stretched. You pitch them when you can and if you’re lucky enough to get a fully healthy season, then so be it. You’ll just have to deal with it at that point.

        I’m glad the Yankees at least didn’t go that far in limiting him.

  22. Darren says:

    We’ll be lucky to see Pineda this year. Can we trade Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez for Cliff Lee now?

  23. vicki says:

    you jinx-ass dicks with your Let’s Behave Like Gentlemen crap.

  24. Robert says:

    Adam Warren stretch him out

  25. Anthony says:

    Teres major is a rotator cuff muscle….????

  26. proflame aberfelty says:

    It’s the teres major, not the lat. teres major IS a shoulder muscle, not a back muscle

    Given his history, who knows when he comes back

  27. Kosmo says:

    Pineda is out for a month + rehab = mid-June return

    my new nickname for CC is Obi(one bad inning)

    Phelps and Nuno, NY could do a lot worse but it may be time to think about either dumpster diving or swinging a deal for a SP. Leroux, Billings not MLB material.

    Let´s keep our collective eye on Banuelos, 3 or 4 good starts at Trenton could find him pitching for Scranton by June and then who knows ?

    pitchers who could be available sooner than later:
    Jason Hammel
    and everyone´s favorite: Scott Baker who could be had relatively soon for next to nothing.

  28. Mike says:

    Now I really hope we bean Ortiz on his fat head.

  29. Vern Sneaker says:

    Pineda (unknown quantity) and Nova (inconsistent, unpredictable) replaced by Nuno (unknown quantity) and Phelps (okay, average). Potentially, not so terrible. Aceves will no doubt become the long man. What we need is to start hitting!

  30. Roy Munson says:

    He wont throw another meaningful pitch this year…

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