Archive for Michael Pineda
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) is still just throwing bullpen sessions. He last pitched in a game one month and three days ago. Pretty obvious he won’t be joining the team this month, though I wonder if the Yankees will let Pineda play winter ball back home in the Dominican Republic in a few weeks.
- David Phelps (forearm) has been playing catch and will throw his first bullpen session in the coming days. It would be nice to get him back as either a starter or reliever at some point, that won’t happen. Phelps won’t be back in time and rushing it would be foolish considering how important he figures to be to the luxury tax driven 2014 team.
- Travis Hafner (shoulder) recently played in a simulated game but still isn’t quite ready to go just yet. I suppose he could make a quick rehab assignment pit stop with Double-A Trenton before rejoining the big league team for the last two weeks of the season or something.
- Kevin Youkilis (back) has taken dry swings but nothing more. He recently had some more soreness in his back and had to slow down his rehab. Pretty much zero chance he returns to the team this month.
- In case you missed it yesterday, Shawn Kelley (triceps) will be unavailable until at least next week and Zoilo Almonte (ankle) started a minor league rehab assignment.
- Robinson Cano (hand) received treatment yesterday but will not know if he can play in tomorrow’s series opener against the Orioles until he takes batting practice. “The swelling has decreased,” said Cano. “I’ll swing in the cage and see how it feels, try to get ready for batting practice. I would say during batting practice, I would know.”
- David Phelps (forearm) has been working his way back from two different strains. “I think it’s pretty soon he’ll pick up a ball,” said Joe Girardi. There’s almost no chance Phelps will return this season if he hasn’t even started playing catch yet.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) has been throwing side sessions in Tampa. Yesterday we heard he had started throwing off flat ground, but that report was ten days old. My bad. Good to know he’s actually gotten back on a mound. At this point, it seems unlikely Pineda will join the team in September, which means he won’t qualify as a Super Two.
- Zoilo Almonte (ankle) has started hitting off a tee and soft toss. There’s a chance he’ll be able to take regular batting practice by the end of the week. Almonte’s rehab was delayed because he had his wisdom teeth removed. This season, man.
- Travis Hafner (shoulder) has also started hitting off a tee and soft toss. Like Almonte, he could start taking regular ol’ batting practice before the end of the week. Remember when he hit .318/.438/.667 (196 wRC+) in April? Good times.
Via Bryan Hoch: Michael Pineda and his stiff shoulder have resumed throwing on flat ground. This report is actually ten days old — I flat whiffed and missed it — so there’s a chance Pineda has already progressed to throwing in the bullpen. “I think if everything is as we hope it to be, then he will have a chance to do that,” said Brian Cashman when asked if the right-hander could help in September.
Pineda, 24, landed on the Triple-A Scranton DL after leaving his August 2nd start with stiffness. Tests showed no structural damage. The minor league regular season ends on Tuesday, so unless they send him to Double-A Trenton for their playoff run, he’ll only be able to make one minor league tune-up start. Of course, the longer they take with his rehab the more money they’ll save in the future. Pineda had a 3.86 ERA and 3.11 FIP in 23.1 innings across six starts for the RailRiders before going on the DL.
It has now been more than 20 months since the Yankees acquired Michael Pineda (and Jose Campos) from the Mariners for Jesus Montero (and Hector Noesi), and they’re still waiting to get some actual big league production out of the deal. Campos missed most of last year due to injury and is still in the lower levels of minors while Pineda has been out following major shoulder surgery. So far, the only useful thing to come out of that trade for New York was an open 40-man roster spot. It’s been a disaster to date, but luckily there’s time to change that.
Because he spent all of 2011 in the big leagues with the Mariners and all of 2012 on the Major League DL with the Yankees, Pineda came into 2013 with exactly two years of service time. The Bombers activated him off his rehab assignment and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton on July 7th, which was the 99th day of the season by my unofficial count. Pineda is sitting on two years and 99 days of service time at the moment, which is written 2.099 in baseball jargon.
Back in April, Ryan Galla of CAA Sports projected the Super Two cutoff at 2.119 of service time. The latest Collective Bargaining Agreement lowered the Super Two cutoff, which is one of the few things the players got out of the owners. More money for a select few players. Pineda has already been in Triple-A long enough to delay his free agency — he won’t be eligible until after the 2017 now — but delaying his arbitration clock is a little trickier because the team only has 20 or so days on the big league roster to play with, and that would be cutting it very close.
The regular seasons for the four full season minor league affiliates end no later than September 2nd, and of those four teams, only Double-A Trenton will go to the postseason. They haven’t clinched anything yet, but they have a six-game lead and 20 games to play. The Short Season Staten Island Yankees end their season on September 4th, but they aren’t going to the playoffs. The two Rookie GCL Yanks teams end their regular seasons on August 29th and it’s very likely one or both will go to the postseason. Those playoffs are very short though, a one-game series in round one and best-of-three series in round two. They’ll be over before you know it.
Pineda is currently on the Triple-A Scranton DL with tightness in his shoulder, but it’s nothing serious and it was reportedly last week he would be shut down for 7-10 days as a precaution. Today is day nine, but I doubt he’ll jump back into the RailRiders rotation. The Yankees will probably have Pineda ease back into things, first by playing catch on flat ground before advancing to the bullpen and a simulated game, something like that. His return to game action may still be two weeks away, when the minor league season just about ends.
The Yankees end their regular season on September 29th, so the earliest they could activate Pineda and prevent him from getting those 20 extra days of service time is September 10th. Remember, that 2.119 figure is just a projection and my 2.099 figure is just an estimate, so that 20-day number should be taken with a grain of salt. If the Yankees want to keep Pineda in the minors as long as possible, they could send him to Double-A Trenton when healthy and hope they have a long playoff run, or they could just keep him on the DL and work him back very slowly. The latter gives them much more flexibility, obviously.
Now, there are some wildcards here beyond the uncertainty of that 20-day number. One, do the Yankees even care about Pineda’s arbitration clock? His free agency has been pushed back and that’s the most important thing. All this time missed due to injury means his first year arbitration raise would be relatively small, maybe putting him in the $2-2.5M salary range for 2014. Remember, he was an All-Star with Seattle back in the day, and that alone will earn him a nice raise. There is a carry over affect though, avoiding arbitration in 2014 doesn’t just save the team money next year, it saves them money from 2015-2017 as well. With the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold looming, every saved dollar counts.
Two, the Yankees do want to try to get into the postseason. Their chances are small right now — 6.3% according to Baseball Prospectus — but they’ve been able to string together some wins of late and who knows where they’ll sit in two or three weeks. If they’re close enough to make a run, having Pineda on the team could help their cause. They have already indicated a willingness to use him out of the bullpen down the stretch, but Pineda could also give them another start if Phil Hughes continues to be un-pitchable.
Three, how does the team feel about the trade? Are they desperate to get Pineda to the big leagues so the swap looks like less of a disaster? I’m guessing no. They wouldn’t have optioned him to Triple-A in July if that was the case. The Yankees seem to be focused on getting him healthy and ready for Spring Training 2014. All of this stuff will impact the team’s decision about whether to try to delay Pineda’s arbitration clock next month, which will be easier said than done. This is already a second lost season, but maybe they could salvage it by further manipulating his service time.
This afternoon, Joe Girardi confirmed that tests revealed a new strain in a different spot in David Phelps‘ right forearm. He will be shut down for two weeks before he can resume throwing and whatnot. The good news is that it’s just his forearm and not his elbow. Phelps has been on the DL for exactly a month now.
In other pitching injury news, Girardi confirmed tests on Michael Pineda‘s right shoulder came back clean. It’s just tightness and nothing structural. He’ll be shut down for 7-10 days as a precaution. Pineda left his last start with Triple-A Scranton due to stiffness in that surgically repaired shoulder. Good news considering shoulder trouble is usually very bad news.
Right-hander Michael Pineda is heading to New York for tests after leaving Friday’s start with stiffness in his surgically repaired right shoulder. He exited after only two innings and 29 pitches. The Yankees have been limiting Pineda to three or so innings per start recently in an effort to control his workload. He’s thrown about 40 innings since having surgery last May.
4:37pm: Pineda has officially been activated off the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Scranton. Curtis Granderson was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot.
11:22am: Via Donnie Collins: Michael Pineda is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton on Thursday, which is a pretty great indication the Yankees will option him down rather than add him to the big league roster when his rehab clock expires tomorrow. This isn’t much of a surprise; he never eclipsed 80 pitches during his rehab assignment and there’s no room for him in the MLB rotation. The good news is that if Pineda stays down for 2-3 weeks, his free agency will be pushed back from 2016 to 2017.
- Derek Jeter (ankle) went 0-for-2 with a walk for Triple-A Scranton. He grounded out to third and hit a line drive at the second baseman. The Cap’n played five innings at shortstop and only had to field one ground ball, which was hit right at him. He said his ankle felt fine afterwards, and the plan is to DH tomorrow then re-evaluate.
- Alex Rodriguez (hip) went 1-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch and a run scored for High-A Tampa. He singled back up the middle and played six innings at third base, fielding two ground balls and one line drive. I assume A-Rod will remain with Tampa and just continue getting at-bats and innings in the field.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in five innings for Triple-A Scranton. He struck out seven and threw 56 of 78 pitches for strikes (72%) while sitting right in that 92-93 mph range with his fastball. Pineda’s minor league rehab window expires on Monday, so the Yankees have to activate him off the DL and either add him to the big league roster or option him to the minors. Hard to believe he won’t remain with the Triple-A squad for another few weeks, especially after never throwing more than 80 pitches during the rehab assignment.
- Derek Jeter (ankle) is close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment. He continues to take simulated at-bats in Tampa, and he is running the bases after each one. The Yankees haven’t set a date for the rehab assignment yet, but Brian Cashman said “he’s doing real well. He’s really progressing well.”
- Curtis Granderson (hand) swung a pipe 20 times underwater. He has to progress to a short bat and a weighted short bat underwater before taking real live batting practice. So yeah, Granderson isn’t close to a return.
- Hiroki Kuroda (hip) will be re-evaluated by a doctor today. An MRI revealed no tear and the plan is to get him back into the rotation shortly. Ivan Nova is starting in Kuroda’s place tonight.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) will make his final rehab start with Triple-A Scranton tomorrow. His 30-day rehab window expires on Monday and it seems likely the Yankees will option him to Triple-A for some more tune-up starts at that time.
- In case you missed it yesterday, Frankie Cervelli suffered a stress reaction in his elbow and has been shut down for at least two weeks. He isn’t expected to return until sometime in August now.
Via Andrew Marchand: The Yankees have not ruled out using Michael Pineda as a reliever in the second half if there isn’t any room for him in the rotation. For what it’s worth, Joe Girardi said they consider him a starter. “That’s how I’ve seen him … I don’t see using him any other way right now, but a lot of things that have happened this year,” said the skipper.
Pineda, 24, got knocked around pretty good in his penultimate rehab start on Sunday, allowing four runs in three innings while throwing more balls than strikes for Double-A Trenton. There’s time for just one more rehab start before his 30-day window expires on Monday. Barring a DL-worthy injury or a trade involving two starters, I have to think the team will option Pineda to Triple-A for a few weeks after the rehab stint is over. That will push his free agency back a year. I’m not necessarily opposed to temporarily using him out of the bullpen down the stretch, but I’d prefer to see Pineda work on a set schedule with a routine so soon after shoulder surgery.