Michael Pineda, rehabbing from shoulder surgery, hasn’t even been throwing off a half mound for two weeks yet, but he could be pitching off a full mound by next week, according to Erik Boland of Newsday.
In a sense this is great news, but Pineda is still just nine months out of a very invasive surgery and I worry that perhaps they’re moving too fast. Obviously the team and trainers know more than the public does on this, but setbacks are all too common when it comes to rehabbing during shoulder surgery.
Besides, it’s not like the Yankees have a pressing need for him right now. With CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova, the Yankees rotation is set right now. They also have David Phelps if anyone goes down, I could still see them acquiring a low-risk/high-reward type, and Adam Warren and Brett Marshall could also contribute to the major league roster if needed.
Hopefully the Yankees will be very deliberate with him despite promising progress. Best case scenario right now is June, but it would be worth it to wait until July, August, or even next season if there is a chance that Pineda could eventually be at 100 percent when he finally does return.
Pineda injured his shoulder in Spring Training last season after he showed up to camp out of shape and pushed himself too hard to regain lost velocity. After rehab failed, he surgery to repair his shoulder. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said that the team doesn’t expect much from him this year and anything they get at all would be bonus.
As a 22-year-old rookie with the Mariners in 2011, Pineda threw in the 95-97 mph range with a 3.74 ERA, a 9.1 K/9, and a 2.9 BB/9 in 171 innings. He was traded to the Yankees along with Jose Campos for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.