Mark Feinsand spoke to Yankee manager Joe Girardi this afternoon, who shed some light on how the Yanks will approach Michael Pineda’s injury and the rotation going forward. Here’s the quotes, via Mark’s twitter account:
- Girardi comparing Pineda injury to Hughes last year: “I think we’re going to be patient with this, just like we were with Phil. And I think you have to handle each case differently. They both, after throwing a substantial amount of innings, came back and didn’t quite have the same velocity they had the year before and came up with some shoulder tendinitis. There’s a lot of similarities, but I think you have to see how each guy is doing.”
- Girardi on Pineda: “He’s still a work in progress. This is still a really young pitcher, and we’ve asked him to do some things to try and develop his changeup. I think there’s been a lot of focus on him in camp. There’s always somebody who gets that, and it was him this year. Maybe this little couple-week break might be really good for him actually.”
- With Pettitte back in May, does the rotation competition continue? Girardi: “Eventually Pineda is going to come back too. It gives us some time to sort things out. Things most of the time have a way of working themselves out. To speculate what might happen is kind of silly because we didn’t expect an injury because all of our starters had been so healthy. It’s really a month or so, maybe a little bit more.”
Hughes was out for 2 1/2 months, so if they approach it the same way Pineda could be out a similar amount of time. With Hughes, they let his shoulder heal, then took a month to whip him into shape, then sent him on rehab assignment where he built up his innings. But at the end Girardi leaves open the possibility it could be as little as 5-6 weeks. In either case, I don’t see how he’s ready before Andy (who’s targeting May 1st) at which point there’s no spot open in the rotation barring injury or ineffectiveness by one of the current members.
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