On Tuesday morning, among the litany of topics Yankees manager Joe Girardi addressed, the status of 24-year-old right-hander Michael Pineda was discussed, and as covered by Jon Lane of YESNetwork.com, Girardi ruled out Pineda pitching in any Grapefruit League games this spring,
“He's throwing now for us," Girardi said. "He's still in the early stages. I don't think we're going to see him in a game in Spring Training, anything like that. He is throwing, we're happy with the way he's progressing and sometime during the summer we hope to see him.”
However, Pineda continues to make significant progress, a sentiment echoed yesterday as the young right-hander threw off of a full mound for the first time as pitchers and catchers opened spring training.
He will continue to follow a meticulous program down in Tampa, monitored closely by Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
Following last year's offseason trade which brought Pineda to the Bronx in exchange for top prospect Jesus Montero, Pineda's eye-opening lack of velocity during spring training led to the revelation that his shoulder was struggling immensely, an issued amplified with major surgery which ended Pineda's season before he ever reached Yankee Stadium.
However, if Pineda's rookie season in 2011 with the Seattle Mariners is any indication, his potential addition to the Yankees pitching staff at some point in 2013 makes him an interesting Yankee to keep an eye on this season, as well as a potential bounce-back candidate.
Courtesy of MLB.com, some 2011 highlights of Pineda in action, and perhaps a glimpse of what Yankees brethren will get to see when Pineda makes his way to the Bronx, hopefully at some point in July.
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