When the New York Yankees traded for Michael Pineda, they thought they had their pitcher of the future. That still may be the case, but Pineda has yet to throw a pitch for the Yankees. He missed the entire 2012 season with a labral tear of his shoulder. He underwent surgery last May, and there was concern he could miss the entire 2013 season as well. However, Pineda is set to reach a major milestone today which means he should be pitching sometime this season.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Pineda is set to throw off a half mound today at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Florida. The move from throwing from flat ground to a hill is a big one. It's a step in the right direction and indication that Pineda could be pitching by mid-season. In fact, Hoch says Yankees' GM Brian Cashman expects Pineda to take the mound for the team in June or July.
Pineda came to the Yankees via trade that sent Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees were high on Montero, but they were even more high on Pineda. Unfortunately, Pineda broke down. He did not show any indication of shoulder issues while with the Mariners and he passed his physical with the Yankees.
Pineda is 24 years old and has just one Major League season under his belt. In 2011 with the Mariners, he went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA. He showed promise that season which has the Yankees excited. Of course, no one can be sure how he will perform once he returns from the shoulder injury, but barring any setback, we should find that out later this season.
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