When Michael Pineda came out of the game Friday night and complained about shoulder pain it seemed like things had the potential to get really bad. However, just two days later Yankees manager Joe Girardi was talking like it might not be that big of a deal.
“When you look at the news, when a guy goes in for an MRI, that’s probably the best case scenario a guy can have,” Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “No structural damage; you deal with some inflammation, some tendinitis, and we’ll get through that. So for that, I’m very happy.”
“I think there’s been a lot of focus on him in camp,” Girardi said. “There’s always somebody who gets that, and it was him this year. Maybe this little couple-of-week break might be really good for him, actually.”
“There was a lot of concentration on his velocity, which could have led to this,” Girardi said. “He was getting people out. [Friday] was really the only rough start that he had had to this point. We really believe he’s going to be a staple in this rotation for a long time. We have a little setback here and we have to move forward.”
The Yankees are expected to take everything slowly with Pineda. For now he is being shutdown for two weeks and will be reevaluated then. Girardi explained that the Yankees don’t view this injury as the same thing that Phil Hughes went through last year despite the fact that they are both shoulder injuries. However, as a benchmark that took him two and a half months before he was back on the field.
I think there is something to the idea that this might not be the worst thing to happen. For one thing, the Yankees rotation is still solid as they had six guys for five spots anyway. So this did kind of solve that issue.
The spotlight did seem to get to Pineda and now he will get an opportunity to build up his arm strength slowly and in the relative obscurity of the minor league ball park. For somebody who has already admitted that the media presence worries him, it certainly seems like it would be better if he built up arm strength there rather than on the mound in the Bronx.