Michael Pineda is making strides in returning to a Major League mound. Yesterday, he threw in an extended spring training game and sat mostly at 93 mph on the radar gun, even touching 95 – according to Bryan Hoch.
This is pretty impressive for someone coming off of a major shoulder injury. Unlike Tommy John Surgery in the elbow, labrum and shoulder surgeries have yet to be perfected. General Manager Brian Cashman called yesterday a “good physical day” for Pineda. It is not known yet when he will go out on a rehab assignment. As of right now, he is on track for a mid-season return.
Pineda, 24, was acquired in the Jesus Montero trade prior to last season. In his only season in the big leagues in 2011 as a 22-year-old, Pineda posted impressive numbers, especially in the first half – 8-6 3.03 ERA with 113 Ks while holding hitters to a .198 average en route to starting for the AL in the All-Star Game. He came into Yankee camp overweight last season, and had a decrease in velocity. He was sidelined with shoulder pain, and ultimately diagnosed with a torn labrum.
The Yankees’ starting rotation has been the main strength of the team so far in 2013. If Pineda can return healthy and provide any help, the team would receive a huge boost.