Archive for Michael Pineda
Via Joel Sherman: Michael Pineda “topped out in the low-90 mph range and threw well” during his first simulated game earlier this week. That is pretty darn encouraging considering it was his first real game action and that he’s not even a full year out from surgery yet. For what it’s worth, Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings the Yankees did not have a radar gun on the right-hander the other day. Who knows.
Pineda, 24, threw a handful of live batting practice sessions in recent weeks before the simulated game. He only threw one inning, but that’s not at all surprising. His workload will gradually increase in the coming weeks. Sherman says the Yankees are hopeful Pineda can begin an official 30-day minor league rehab assignment in early-May, and if all goes well he could jump right into the rotation in early-June or be optioned to Triple-A for
more seasoning service time issues. I think Ivan Nova‘s performance is going to play a big role in that decision.
Via Bryan Hoch: Michael Pineda threw one inning in a simulated game today, his first since having shoulder surgery last May. “He threw strikes he threw some really good strikes,” said Joe Girardi, who was in attendance. “I was happy with what I saw. I know it’s a long ways away, but for the first time in a simulated game, it was pretty good … His command was much better (than last spring). The ball was coming out of his hand. He wasn’t forcing it today.”
Pineda, 24, threw all three of his pitchers — fastball, slider, changeup — but Chad Jennings says the Yankees don’t even have a radar gun on him yet. That’s not terribly surprising since he’s still in rehab mode and not “getting stretched out for the season” mode. Either way, good news. Every day Pineda is able to do something like this without suffering a setback represents major progress. The simulated game does not start his 30-day rehab window, by the way.
Via Dan Martin: Right-hander Michael Pineda is scheduled to throw his first simulated game since shoulder surgery this coming week. “He’s continued to look good,” said VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman. “With shoulder surgeries, there are always things that slow you down, but he’s constantly been getting better and healthier. We’re still counting on him.”
Pineda, 24, has been facing hitters in live batting practice in recent weeks. He’s confident he will return as the same pitcher he was before — “I’m going to be back and I’m going to be 100% … My arm is feeling good and I’m the same pitcher I was before,” he said to Martin — but you never really know with this kind of injury until he gets back on the mound in real game situations. Pineda continues to make good progress though, and that’s all you can ask for at this point.
Via Dan Martin, George King & Bryan Hoch: Injured hurlers Michael Pineda, Cesar Cabral, and Clay Rapada all continued their rehab work in Tampa yesterday. Pineda (shoulder) threw 35 pitches (broken down into two “innings”) in his third live batting practice session, which “looked batter than the first two.” Cabral (elbow) threw a scoreless inning in an Extended Spring Training game, and Rapada (shoulder) threw 25 pitches in a simulated game.
The 24-year-old Pineda faced hitters for the first time since surgery last week and still has a ways to go before starting an official minor league rehab assignment. Cabral, 24, is much closer to a return than Pineda and could go out on an rehab assignment relatively soon. He needs to spend at least 90 days on the active 25-man roster this year to satisfy the Rule 5 Draft rules. Rapada, 32, is expected to join Triple-A Scranton soon. He can’t rejoin the big league team until May 3rd at the earliest because of some weird rule.
Got a trio of injury updates, courtesy of the AP…
- Derek Jeter (ankle) did some light running on the bases for the second consecutive day today, going first-to-third and third-to-first three times apiece. He also fielded 45 ground balls at short and started making throws to first, plus he took 32 swings in batting practice on the field.
- Curtis Granderson (forearm) had a round of follow-up x-rays yesterday and could be cleared to throw as soon as tomorrow. “Everything is looking good,” he said. Granderson has reportedly been cleared to swing a bat underwater, and he hopes to be given the okay to swing a fungo bat this weekend.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) faced hitters for the first time since surgery in a scheduled round of live batting practice on Tuesday. No word on how many pitches he threw or anything like that, but it’s still really good news. Big step in the rehab process.
Every team deals with injuries, but it feels like the Yankees have dealt with a full season’s worth of injuries just during Spring Training. They lost three of their best four hitters to new injuries or setbacks in the last few weeks on top of some carry-over injuries from last year and the offseason. All of the injuries have led to a whole bunch of scrap heaping, forcing the Yankees to grab guys like Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco, Lyle Overbay, and Vernon Wells these last few weeks.
Some of the team’s injured players will be back sooner than others, and some injuries figure to have more long-term impact that others. As always, expected return dates should be taken a grain of salt. Setbacks and lingering effects have a way of changing plans in a hurry. Let’s run down the team’s walking wounded heading into the 2013 campaign.
LHP Manny Banuelos
New York’s top prospect at this time last year, the 22-year-old Banuelos made just six starts for Triple-A Scranton last year due to a minor back issue and a major elbow issue. He was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in that left elbow, but at some point during his rehab he wound up blowing out the ligament and requiring Tommy John surgery. Banuelos had the procedure in October and is expected to miss the entire season, meaning he’ll lose basically two full years to injury at a crucial age in his development. For shame.
LHP Cesar Cabral
It’s easy to forget that Cabral, 24, had all but won a job out of Spring Training last year before suffering a fractured elbow near the end of camp. He has been rehabbing for the last 12 months and in fact he faced hitters for the first time since the injury earlier this week, throwing a round of live batting practice. The Yankees have indicated he is expected to return sometime in May or June.
Because he’s a Rule 5 Draft pick who missed all of last season due to injury, the Yankees have to keep Cabral on their active 25-man roster for at least 90 days this year. That’s basically half the season. Once they satisfy that requirement, he’ll is theirs to keep (and option to Triple-A). I’m sure the team will take their time with his rehab and everything, but at some point it will be decision time.
RHP Phil Hughes
Joe Girardi announced yesterday that Hughes will indeed start the season on the DL after missing a few weeks with a bulging disk in his back. He’s been starting minor league games and has a few more outings to go before rejoining the rotation, possibly as soon as the second time through. The 26-year-old Hughes has a lengthy injury history, but the back issue appears to be in the rear-view mirror.
SS Derek Jeter
The Cap’n played on a bone bruise in his left ankle last September and it wasn’t until Game One of the ALCS that the joint finally gave out and fractured. He had surgery in October and spent the winter rehabbing, but he was recently setback by some inflammation and soreness. He received a cortisone shot and will start the season on the DL, yet the targeted April 6th return date sure seem optimistic since he won’t resume baseball activity until at least Monday.
Given his age, position, and the nature of the injury, there’s a pretty good chance Jeter and the Yankees will have to deal with nagging soreness and tightness and all that all throughout the season. Players who suffered similar injuries (Stephen Drew, Jason Kendall, even Ravel Santana) needed months to get back to where they were before the injury, and time is a luxury the Yankees don’t have. They need Jeter in the lineup soon and if this thing lingers, it will be a huge problem. Eduardo Nunez has the chance of a lifetime in front of him and is suddenly an extremely important player for the 2013 Yankees. That is not ideal.
CF Curtis Granderson
The fifth pitch Granderson saw this spring broke his forearm. The 32-year-old is expected to be out until early-May, but anytime you have an arm or hand or wrist injury, there is the potential for it to linger. Granderson is the team’s top power hitter and he really doesn’t offer much else (besides walks), so anything that compromises his pop will severely impact his game. Everything is going well as far as the healing process, but I’m anxious to see how he returns and whether that forearm gives him trouble going forward.
RHP Michael Pineda
Even though he has yet to throw a single meaningful pitch in his 14 months as a Yankee, the 24-year-old Pineda is one of the most important players in the organization. The Yankees are in desperate need of a young impact player to build on going forward, and Pineda has the type of arm and power stuff to anchor a rotation. Or at least he had that type of stuff before blowing out his labrum last spring.
The long road back from shoulder surgery has Pineda to throw live batting practice in two weeks. It’ll be his first time facing hitters since having the procedure. So far he’s rehab has gone well — he’s throwing 45-pitch bullpens, including changeups and sliders — and everyone says he looks great, but what he looks like in the bullpen and how he performs against hitters are different matters entirely.
As encouraging as it is to know his rehab is going well, we have absolutely no idea what Pineda will be capable of when he gets back on a mound in a competitive game. It was a major injury and although there are some notable success stories — Curt Schilling, Rogers Clemens, Anibal Sanchez — there are countless guys who never got back to their previous form. The Yankees need Pineda and need him to be very good going forward. He’s expected to return sometime in late-May or June, and I bet they option him to Triple-A Scranton for a few weeks just to delay his free agency a year (after losing an entire pre-arbitration year to injury in 2012).
LHP Clay Rapada
A bout of shoulder bursitis has landed the 32-year-old Rapada on the DL to start the season and there is no timetable for him return. He’s been sidelined for about three weeks now and has yet to resume throwing in the bullpen, so it’s safe to say his return is not imminent. Rapada is the team’s most effective left-on-left reliever, but as a true specialist, he isn’t the most critical or irreplaceable part in the world. The Yankees are a worse team without him, but not much worse.
3B Alex Rodriguez
The second hip surgery — this one the left after hurting the right in 2009 — of A-Rod‘s career will have him out of action until at least the All-Star break. He has a cyst removed, a bone impingement corrected, and a torn labrum repaired in January and has yet to resume baseball activities. He’s not even close to resuming baseball activities.
The Yankees knew A-Rod, now 37, would miss a big chunk of the season back in December, which is why they dropped $12M on Kevin Youkilis. Alex was both the healthier (529 vs. 509 plate appearances) and more productive (114 vs. 102 wRC+) player last season, so the Yankees downgraded this winter. No one has any idea what A-Rod will be able to do after the surgery, so there’s really no point in speculating. He could be an all-arms hitter incapable of using his lower half, he could be healthier than ever and see his performance rebound, he could be something else entirely. Either way, the lineup will miss his bat from the right side.
1B Mark Teixeira
Teixeira, 32, hurt the tendon sheath in his right wrist while taking batting practice with Team USA in advance of the World Baseball Classic, so if nothing else the Yankees won’t have to pay his salary while he’s on the DL — the WBC’s insurance covers that. The wrist injury is expected to keep him out until late-May/early-June, but wrist injuries have a knack for lingering. In fact, Brian Cashman acknowledged there’s a 30% chance he will need season-ending surgery at some point.
Even if he comes back healthy, Teixeira has become increasingly injury prone in recent years after being an iron man earlier in his career. He suffered a major hamstring strain during the 2010 postseason, and last year he battled a cough, a minor wrist issue, and a calf strain (plus a setback). The right wrist is his power wrist as a left-handed batter, which could be a problem because power is his primary source of value. Teixeira has declined as a hitter these last few years because he’s become increasingly pull happy, so anything that hurts his ability to hit the ball out of park could be a production killer.
Via Chad Jennings: Michael Pineda is scheduled to throw live batting practice in two weeks, the first time he will face hitters since having shoulder surgery last May. The right-hander will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session tomorrow and said he has not had any discomfort so far. This is obviously a pretty huge step for the 24-year-old, who still has a long way to go before getting into any kind of game action or actually contributing to the big league team. Still, pretty awesome news.
Via Chad Jennings: Michael Pineda is scheduled to throw a full 35-pitch bullpen session tomorrow, during which he will throw sliders for the first time since having shoulder surgery last May. The 24-year-old right-hander has been gradually stretching out his bullpen work and started incorporating changeups about three weeks ago. Throwing breaking balls is a pretty huge rehab milestone because of the stress they put on the arm, so this isn’t a negligible bit of news. If Pineda comes through tomorrow’s bullpen fine and can continue throwing sliders as he builds up arm strength and stretches out, it will be an overwhelming positive development for his rehab.
Via Chad Jennings: Right-hander Michael Pineda threw 25 pitches — all fastballs — as part of his latest bullpen session this morning. His surgically repaired right shoulder is doing well, so much so that he will stretch out to 30 pitches and begin to incorporate changeups next time out. Right now he’s only thrown changeups off flat ground, and I assume breaking balls are still a long ways off. It’s not much, but every small step forward is a big positive for Pineda given the severity of his injury.
Via Bryan Hoch & Erik Boland: Michael Pineda has dropped 20 lbs. during his rehab from shoulder surgery and so far everything feels strong. “I won’t make this mistake anymore,” said the right-hander about showing up to camp overweight. “I’m feeling very excited, I’m feeling good. My shoulder is stronger right now.”
More importantly, the 24-year-old Pineda has started throwing off a full mound — he had his first session earlier this week and is scheduled for another tomorrow — and will begin facing hitters under controlled conditions next month. Controlled conditions means behind a L-screen, live batting practice, simulated game, that kind of stuff. Or at least I think that’s what it means, anyway. Brian Cashman said he is “cautiously optimistic” but still doesn’t anticipate getting Pineda back before June. Still .. progress!