Pineda's about to be on the clock

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
7:28
PM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Michael Pineda threw three simulated innings and 45 simulated pitches in Tampa today, and his next stop is a real game, of the minor league variety, on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeMichael Pineda
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesMichael Pineda is working toward an August return to the rotation.
That will start the 30-day rehab clock that will culminate, hopefully, in Pineda's return to the Yankees sometime in August.

Joe Girardi said Pineda will pitch "somewhere" on Sunday, probably throwing in the neighborhood of 60-65 pitches, with his workload gradually increasing from there, assuming there are no setbacks, of which there have already been at least two in his recovery from a lat strain below his right shoulder.

Because of that, Girardi would not hazard a guess as to when Pineda might be ready to return -- "Whatever they say he needs is what it is. I'm not going to put a number on it," he said. -- but it is safe to assume he will need at least three rehab starts, and probably more, to get his pitch count up above 90 before he could be reactivated. That likely means a mid- to late-August return at the earliest.

That could serve as the equivalent of a late-season trade-deadline acquisition, which would be a significant boost for the Yankees' injury-depleted rotation.

“I don’t ever think it hurts," Girardi said. "It’s hard to tell where we’ll be when it’s his turn to come off, where we’ll physically be. But as we’ve seen, you can never have too many starters.”

Pineda was 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA when he went on the DL on May 6 following a 10-game suspension for using pine tar in a game against the Red Sox on April 23 in Boston.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Follow Wallace on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .759
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135