NEW YORK -- It should come as no surprise that Michael Pineda's return to the Yankees is on hold for awhile. After this afternoon's 2-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees announced they had optioned Pineda to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the team's Triple A affiliate.
When asked before the game how he would fit Pineda into the starting rotation, Joe Girardi provided a hint to Pineda's ultimate destination when he said, "Right now, we have [Ivan] Nova slotted into our rotation, and he’s throwing the ball really well. So we haven’t put a lot of thought into that."
And throughout Pineda's rehab from shoulder surgery, GM Brian Cashman said the 24-year-old right-hander acquired last year from the Mariners in exchange for Jesus Montero would have to demonstrate he was better than the five pitchers already in the starting rotation to be reinstated to the Yankees roster.
In five rehab starts since being cleared to pitch again, Pineda had a 2.82 ERA and was said to have hit 95 mph on the radar gun with his fastball. He struck out 22 batters in 22 1/3 innings, but also allowed 27 baserunners (17 hits and 10 walks) and four runs, including two home runs, in three innings against the Mets Double A affiliate two outings back.
In order to clear space on the 40-man roster for Pineda, the Yankees transferred Curtis Granderson to the 60-day DL.