Yankees Place Michael Pineda on 15 Day DL

Posted: March 31, 2012 by Rob Barros in MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been placed on the 15 Day DL with shoulder tendinitis. Pineda was fighting for a spot in the Yankees starting rotation all spring, but has been battling velocity issues with his fastball. During the 2011 season with Seattle, Pineda was averaging 95 mph on his fastball; during his first spring with the Yankees, the velocity dipped to around 91-92.

It was not like Pineda was having a bad spring, the only main concern was getting the velocity back on his fastball. Prior to last night’s start against the Phillies, Pineda had been 1-0 with an ERA of 3.12. Pineda had also been working on his new found changeup, which was getting plenty of good reviews from Yankees coaches and catchers. Before the game last night, manager Joe Girardi had said that this start was “very important” for Pineda, as it would’ve made Girardi’s decision on whether to put Pineda in the rotation or not.

Pineda had an extremely rough outing against the Phillies, going just 2.2 innings, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Immediately after exiting the game, Pineda had told Yankees coaches that he felt soreness in his right arm. That led to the Yankees giving Pineda a precautionary MRI, and revealed that Pineda had shoulder tendinitis. Now with Pineda out for about a month, the Yankees have their rotation set. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and Freddy Garcia will make up the Yankees 5 starters. Even though the Yankees have their starting 5, there is still a problem to be addressed once Pineda returns, and of course, the comeback of Andy Pettitte.

The Yankees gave up quite a bit in order to acquire Pineda from the Seattle Mariners, prized catching prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi who is now a part of the Mariners rotation.  Now that Pineda will miss a month, Yankees fans have been left wondering if the Mariners pulled off a robbery. While both Montero and Noesi have had very solid springs, it is still very early to determine the winner of this trade. The most likely scenario for Pineda is that once his shoulder is no longer a bother, he will be sent to Triple-A to work on his mechanics, mainly getting his fastball back to speed.

This story will continue to be monitored closely and Yankees fans like myself can only hope that Pineda does return with life back on his fastball.

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