Pineda’s rehab pushed back after MRI shows “trace” of inflammation

Another setback for Michael Pineda. Yesterday’s precautionary MRI showed a “trace” of inflammation in his shoulder, Joe Girardi confirmed, so he will not play catch this weekend as expected. The team is hopeful Pineda will be able to start a throwing program next weekend instead. He’s been out since late-April with a muscle strain and has already suffered one setback. Brian Cashman recently said they don’t expect to get Pineda back until August.

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Pineda undergoing precautionary MRI before starting throwing program

Michael Pineda is undergoing a precautionary MRI in Tampa today, RAB has confirmed. He is scheduled to begin a throwing program this weekend and the Yankees are having him looked over one more time to make sure he is completely healthy.

These precautionary tests are routine whenever a player is set to begin rehab, especially pitchers with arm problems. Pineda has already suffered one setback and the Yankees don’t want him have another, which could end his season. He is not expected to return until August as it is.

Injury Updates: CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

The Yankees welcomed Francisco Cervelli back a two-month stint on the disabled list yesterday, so all of their position players are now healthy. Three-fifths of the rotation remain out, and Ivan Nova isn’t coming back this year following Tommy John surgery. Here are updates on the other two injured starters courtesy of Meredith Marakovits and Brian Heyman:

  • CC Sabathia (knee) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Monday, fastballs and changeups only. No sliders. He said he felt fine and will throw another bullpen session today. “We’ll just continue to increase the amount of pitches and the pitches that he throws. If he gets through (today), then he’ll probably throw another bullpen and we’ll increase the number there. And then if he gets through that, eventually you start to see hitters and BP and then you get the game,” said Joe Girardi, who said they have to build Sabathia back up like he just arrived to Spring Training. (It’s common for pitchers to hold off on throwing breaking balls early in camp so they can build up arm strength.)
  • Michael Pineda (shoulder) is scheduled to play catch on Saturday. It’ll be his first time throwing since suffering a setback at the end of last month. Like Sabathia, Pineda is basically at the start of his Spring Training routine. Expect the Yankees to be very careful with him during the rehab process given the nature of the injury and the fact that he’s already had one setback.

The Yankees have already acknowledged that Sabathia and Pineda will be out until at least July and August, respectively. That makes perfect sense given where they are in their rehab right now.

Michael Pineda expected to be out until at least August

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Michael Pineda is not expected to return to the rotation until August at the earliest, Joe Girardi told reporters. He has not had another setback, that’s just the realistic timetable. It’s entirely possible Big Mike will be out even longer than that. That would really suck.

Pineda, 25, has been out since early-May with a strained muscle in his shoulder. He then suffered a setback following an Extended Spring Training outing a few weeks ago and has yet to even begin playing catch. Pineda had shoulder surgery two years ago and guys who have shoulder surgery tend to continue having shoulder problems. He managed only four starts and 19.2 innings before getting hurt.

With Pineda out until at least August and CC Sabathia still several weeks away, the Yankees do not have any rotation reinforcements on the horizon. They’ll stick with Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, and Chase Whitley behind Masahiro Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda for the time being. They have reportedly been looking at the trade market for rotation help and you can expect their search to intensify in the coming weeks.

Yankees call up Scott Sizemore, claim Wade LeBlanc

The Yankees have called up infielder Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. Zoilo Almonte was sent down in a corresponding move. Sizemore, 29, has hit .265/.333/.361 (96 wRC+) with the RailRiders this year. The Yankees will face four lefty starters in the next seven games and six lefties in the next dozen games. I’m guessing that’s why the righty hitting Sizemore is up.

In other news, the Yankees also claimed left-hander Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Angels. That’s French for David Huff. Michael Pineda was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. He’s already been on the disabled list for a month and just suffered a setback, so yeah. The 29-year-old LeBlanc made a spot start for the Halos the other day (four runs in 6.1 innings) and has a 3.69 ERA (4.46 FIP) in 53.2 Triple-A innings this year. His best attribute is that he’s not Alfredo Aceves. I’m guessing Aceves will get the axe when LeBlanc joins the team in a day or two.