Sweeny Murti of CBS recently spoke to Michael Pineda to get some more information on the events leading up to his shoulder injury, and how he sees things going forward. It’s a good read, and I recommend taking a look at the entire thing, but here are some highlights:
Pineda debunked the notion that he was damaged goods prior to the trade, and described the circumstances surrounding his injury:
I think the first time (I felt something was) my last start in spring training. I tried to throw hard and I felt pain in my shoulder. I rested for a couple days and then when I started to play catch again I was feeling really good. But when I threw hard again I could feel pain again.
Pineda also insisted that despite his reduced velocity in spring training, his arm was feeling good, and he was happy with the state of his slider and changeup.
I was fine in spring training. I didn’t focus on my velocity. I focused a little more on my changeup. I was so excited because I had a great changeup and great slider and my fastball was 90-94. You know, it’s not bad. 97 is better, I know! But I said, “My power is here, I can throw my 97 in the middle of the season.” You know what I mean?
There was not much discussion about Pineda’s conditioning, though Pineda did say he did the same thing that he usually does every offseason. However, it would have been nice to hear a littl more about the rumors that Pineda didn’t pick up a ball all winter and was somewhat above his desired weight. I imagine Murti did not want to come across as being too confrontational, but hopefully Pineda will recognize the importance of conditioning when he works his way back from surgery.
Speaking of the surgery, Pineda (and his doctor) seem very optimistic about the prognosis:
Yeah, the doctor before the surgery, he told me, “Hey no worries. You can’t pitch this year, but I promise next year you’ll be ready 100 percent in spring training.” That’s what he told me before the surgery.
Obviously it is way too early to know if that is the case, but given that Pineda’s injury was reportedly not that severe (as labrum injuries go), there is reason to hope tha the will be able to make a full recovery, and come back strong in 2012. Certainly Yankee fans will be eager to see him back, and hopefully Pineda is similarly eager to work his way back, and show everyone that he is worth the wait.
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