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Michael Pineda to throw off half-mound

01/29/2013 11:03 AM ET
By Jon Lane

Pineda and the Yankees are hoping for the right-hander's return to action this summer.(AP)
New York Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is ready for the next step of his recovery from a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Pineda, 24, will begin throwing off a half-mound on Tuesday. Since November he's been throwing off flat ground and completed his final session on Monday.

"No setbacks so far," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Newsday. "Tomorrow begins the next phase."

Pineda was acquired with right-hander Jose Camps on January 13, 2012 from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero and righty reliever Hector Noesi. His rookie campaign was a tale of two seasons. His fastball averaged 94.7 miles per hour, the highest among rookies with at least 100 innings pitched. However, Pineda was winless over his final seven starts and the Mariners cut back on his workload for precautionary reasons.

Once Pineda reported to Yankees camp, he struggled with his weight and velocity before injuring his shoulder. He is expected, though not guaranteed, to make his debut sometime after the All-Star break, but throwing off a half-mound is a sign of progress.

Whenever Pineda returns, this trade will take years to fully and fairly evaluate. Campos is a promising righty whose 2012 season was curtailed by an elbow injury. Montero's power numbers took a hit at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field (.260-15-62). Noesi went 2-12 with a 5.82 ERA in a season that included a demotion to Triple-A.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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