Michael Pineda has been on the disabled list since May 6 after experiencing pain in his back and shoulder area that was diagnosed as a Grade 1 strain, although the last time he actually pitched for the New York Yankees was back on April 23.
Pineda was ejected from the Yankees 5-1 loss against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning of that game for having pine tar on his neck. Following the ejection, Pineda was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball for the incident; a ruling Pineda didn't appeal and accepted immediately. While in the middle of his suspension, Pineda threw a simulated game and left it due to experiencing pain in his back and shoulder area, which is where the strain was diagnosed.
Once Pineda's suspension was over, the Yankees were able to put Pineda on the 15-day disabled list and has been out for 17 days and counting, but Pineda could be taking a major step closer to returning to the Yankees and give their rotation a major boost. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Thursday that Pineda will likely throw in a simulated game on Saturday down in Tampa and everything is going according to plan for Pineda's return.
"He is progressing like we want," Girardi said. "Things are going according to plan."
After the simulated game, it's not clear what Pineda's next course of action will be; whether he will throw a simulated game or if he will throw a rehab game in the minor leagues.
Before hitting the disabled list, Pineda was 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA and has 15 strikeouts with three walks in 19.2 innings. Along with Pineda, Ivan Nova is out for the season after needing Tommy John Surgery to repair a torn ligament in his elbow and CC Sabathia is out until at least July with a degenerative knee condition and his return is unknown. Currently, the Yankees have David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley pitching in their places and Pineda's return to the Yankees would be a tremendous plus to them right now given the injuries to the rotation.
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