On Saturday night, on a Class-A diamond in Lakeland, Fla., Michael Pineda intends to accomplish something he has never done in his star-crossed career as a Yankee: Throw a pitch in a live, regular-season game. Pineda will begin his 30-day rehabilitation assignment, part of his lengthy return from shoulder surgery last season, for the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League. Across the country, Yankees manager Joe Girardi will be awaiting updates. Pineda, the 24-year-old right-hander, impressed team officials with his performance during extended-spring outings. He pumped his pitch count to 75. His fastball velocity resided around 93 mph, a tick below the heater he threw during his breakout, rookie season with the Mariners in 2011. But Pineda has not yet landed on Girardi’s radar, in terms of plotting out his future rotation. The manager must see how Pineda responds during his minor-league work first. “I think you’re going to want to see him throw 90-to-100 pitches more than once,” Girardi said. “Maybe even more than twice. Just because you want to see how he bounces back. Because it’s been a long time since he’s pitched.” The Yankees appear to have a decent surplus of extra starters. In connection with that, Chien-Ming Wang’s reunion with the Yankees has ended. Wang exercised an option in his contract and received his release from the organization, the team announced on Friday afternoon. Wang is expected to sign with Toronto, Fox Sports reported. He could start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Michael Pineda starts rehab assignment for Yankees on Saturday
Newark Star-Ledger | Jun 8