Michael Pineda to make second rehab start in a simulated game on FridayTampa Yankees off-day will push righty into a start at the team complex
Pineda made his rehab debut with the Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees on Sunday, one day later than expected because of a rainout the night before. He threw 68 pitches over 4.1 innings in that debut, allowing one unearned run on two hits while walking one and striking out four.
The T-Yanks are off Friday because of the Florida State League All-Star Game this weekend, and the rainout last Saturday prevented Pineda from being on schedule to pitch their final game before the break on Thursday.
Prior to the Yankees' game in Oakland Wednesda night, manager Joe Girardi intimated that schedule snafu - as well as the team's desire to keep Pineda out of long innings as much as possible early in his rehab - played the biggest roles in the simulated game decision, and not any kind of setback or disappointment.
“It’s one start,” Girardi said. “It’s not a big deal. It will probably be the only simulated game he throws. So it just works out better.”
Travel also was a factor, as the team preferred to not have Pineda head to either Charleston, S.C. (to pitch for the Class-A RiverDogs) or Altoona, Penn. (to pitch for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in a road game) for one start.
“If Tampa would have been at home, he would have pitched in that game,” Girardi said.<> The Yankees’ reported plan is to increase Pineda’s workload by seven or eight pitches in each rehab start, so the righty is expected to throw around 75 pitches on Friday.
Prior to that simulated game announcement, there had been multiple conflicting reports about Pineda's status; the Newark Star-Ledger reported that general manager Brian Cashman told them via email that Pineda would make his next start for Charleston, while Ken Davidoff of the New York Post had Tweeted on Tuesday that Cashman confirmed Pineda's second rehab start would come with the Thunder.
Looking forward, if Pineda stays on a five-day schedule, his next three outings after Friday would come on June 19, 24, and 29; Tampa is at Dunedin, home vs. Clearwater, and at Dunedin on those three dates, while Trenton is at Akron, home vs. Erie, and at Binghamton.