When Michael Pineda had surgery for a torn labrum back in May, he indicated that, if all went well, he hoped to be ready to go at the beginning of Spring Training in 2013. Given the nature of the injury, however, that was always a touch unrealistic, and general manager Brian Cashman said as much yesterday. Appearing on ESPN Radio with Ian O’Connor, Cashman said of the man he traded Jesus Montero to acquire: “We have to keep him off our radar for now. … We’re talking June of next year … the second half of next year.”
Given Pineda’s stature and the controversial nature of his acquisition, I have a feeling that there’s going to be some anxiousness to get him on the mound in a Yankees’ uniform, but the Yankees are actually fairly well suited to take it easy with their young righty. They have C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and David Phelps under control for next season, and if they can bring back Andy Pettitte and/or Hiroki Kuroda, they should be perfectly fine where starting pitching is concerned on Opening Day. The important thing here will be to avoid any setbacks with Pineda’s shoulder, allowing him to rehab at his own pace and come back when he’s ready. Hopefully that will provide them with an additional weapon come the summer months, but if not it shouldn’t be the end of the world for this roster.