So after a minor setback - a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand - Michael Pineda has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa. This brings Pineda one step closer to finally pitching for the team that acquired him in January 2012. So far, he has been throwing in extended spring training outings and he had thrown 65 pitches in his appearance on Monday.
As everyone knows, Pineda has not actually pitched in a regular season game for the Yankees. In his first season with the Bombers, Pineda injured himself in Spring Training and as he was working his way back, he re-injured his shoulder and needed season-ending surgery.
The road back has been slow for Pineda and the Yankees but if he can return to his 2011 numbers (173 strikeouts in 171 innings), he will be a big boost to the rotation.