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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Notes: Pineda to start rehab assignment

By Matt Ehalt

Pineda
Michael Pineda will begin his rehab assignment Saturday in Tampa.
Yankees starter Michael Pineda (shoulder) will begin his 30-day rehab assignment on Saturday in Tampa. The team will have 30 days to decide if they want to promote him to the Bronx.

"He'll measure up against what we have. If he's better than anything we have up here, he'll come here," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday before the Yankees faced the Indians. "If we don't think he's as good as what we've got, he'll go to triple-A on option."

Pineda, who is working back from offseason shoulder surgery, threw 65 pitches in an extended spring training game Monday, where he sat at 93 mph and topped out at 94 mph. The team will need to build his arm up to roughly 100 pitches, and the 30-day window would allow for around six starts. Cashman said it "depends" when asked whether the Yankees would use the full 30 days.

The team has talked about Pineda returning this season, but it's not a given that he will crack the rotation. Cashman said the team will use him as a starter, and Pineda is going to have to beat out someone currently in the rotation as well as Triple-A hopefuls like Ivan Nova and Vidal Nuno to get his chance.

"By the fourth, fifth, sixth rehab start, we'll be able to compare him to what we have [in Triple-A] and what we have here and slot him accordingly," Cashman said. "Hope his rehab goes well."

OVERBAY BACK IN RIGHT: Lyle Overbay is back in right field for the second straight day after making his first career start there on Monday.

Girardi said this idea had been discussed for approximately two weeks, although Cashman first heard of the idea on Sunday during the rain delay against Boston. Overbay had only played first base during his career prior to Monday.

The manager said one of the concerns with Overbay were the routes he takes to batted balls.

"I talked to [third base coach Rob Thomson] about it and [Thomson] thought he did a pretty good job in the little bit he'd seen him do it," Girardi said. "I said, 'Let's do it.'"

Girardi said there's a chance Overbay plays in Wednesday's series finale, but he does not envision Overbay playing right field three to four times a week. Girardi prefers to have Overbay play the position several times in a row compared to using him arbitrarily.

"If you're going to run a guy out there in a long stretch, you kind of like to do it bang, bang, bang," Girardi said. "Because he's kind of in the feel of the game."

HOMER HEAVY: Last year, the Yankees scored the second-most runs in baseball and hit the most homers by a considerable margin. Some fans criticized the homer-heavy approach for its lack of situational hitting.

This season, the Yankees are still hitting homers with the best of them -- they are in eighth entering Tuesday -- but their offense ranks 17th in runs scored. Cashman has noticed the contrast in fans' reaction.

"Where we rank in offense right now and all those Yankees fans crying about all we do is hit home runs," Cashman said. "Now they're crying we don't score any runs."