Pineda to begin rehab assignment on Saturday

06/05/2013 1:07 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

After missing all of 2012, Michael Pineda will test out his arm in rehab games this weekend.(AP)
Michael Pineda's comeback trail begins in earnest on Saturday.

Pineda reported no discomfort after throwing 65 pitches in an Extended Spring Training game on Monday, and he will officially begin his 30-day rehab assignment on Saturday at Class-A Advanced Tampa.

Pineda has been doing well in Extended Spring outings and had hoped to begin that rehab assignment last weekend, but he split a fingernail in an outing last Wednesday and had to hold off for one more Extended Spring start.

That issue aside, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday that Pineda is ready for the final step of a true rehab assignment.

"With Seattle, I think he got up to 98 (miles per hour) and with each start he's been fluctuating from sitting at 92 or 93 to topping out at 94 or 95," Cashman said. "Now he'll be competing with everything that's (involved with) taking the ball every five days up here," Cashman said. "By the fourth, fifth and sixth rehab start, we'll be able to compare him to what we have there versus what we have here and slot him accordingly."

Pineda was an All-Star in his rookie season with Seattle, going 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and striking out 173 in 171 innings, but missed all of 2012 after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Cashman said Pineda will be a starter for sure, but would not commit to having him join the Major League roster right away when his rehab clock expires.

"He'll measure up against what we have. If he's better than anything we have up here, he'll come (to the Majors)," Cashman said. "If we don't think he's as good as what we've got, he'll go to Triple-A on option."

Follow us on Twitter @LouDiPietroYES and @YESNetwork for more. comments