The New York Yankees made an aggressive move this summer by acquiring right-hander Michael Pineda from the Seattle Mariners in a four-player deal. The team was expecting the young pitcher to be a key piece of its rotation in 2012 and for the future.
But the 23-year-old fire-baller was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of spring training, with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He has yet to pitch this season, and on Monday Pineda tossed a 26-pitch bullpen session. That was the first time he had thrown since being placed on the DL, and it didn’t go well.
The Yankees had to shut down their prized youngster because of discomfort in his shoulder. On Saturday it became clear that this setback will have long-term consequences, and things would likely have to go perfectly for Pineda to make it back before the All-Star break.
In the interim the Yankees plan to stick with Freddy Garcia in the rotation until Andy Pettitte is ready to go.
As a rookie in 2011, Pineda made 28 starts and threw 171 innings. He finished with a 9-10 record, a 3.74 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In those 171 innings, he only allowed 133 hits and 55 walks, while striking out 173.
If he misses more than half the season, that would be huge and could blow the American League East race wide open.