Yankees being cautious with Michael Pineda’s innings
Pineda, who has hurled 70 1/3 innings in 11 starts this season, is thus not scheduled to pitch until June 12 against the Orioles in Baltimore. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the skipped start is not due to an injury issue.
“It’s only because of innings,” Girardi said. “This is a guy that has not thrown a lot of innings since 2011. He probably threw [76 1/3] last year; 2011 he threw 171. With these days off, we feel like we can do that without overtaxing the other pitchers.”
The Yankees will have Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren and CC Sabathia as their scheduled starters in this three-game series against the Angels.
Following an off-day on Monday, Masahiro Tanaka and Eovaldi will get starting nods in a two-game series against the Nationals that leads into another off-day.
Pineda has been one of the Yanks’ best starters this season, going 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA. He has struck out 76 with only seven walks.
Yet the Yanks have not forgotten his injury issues, which included surgery on his pitching shoulder in May 2012. Girardi said that a 220-inning regular season workload is out of the question.
“Believe me, I thought all day yesterday, I thought all day on the plane on Wednesday,” Girardi said. “It was something we discussed. In a perfect world, you don’t want to do it. But you have to measure what he’s been through physically, and how many innings he already has.”
Pineda will stay sharp by throwing side sessions during the layoff, and Girardi suggested that the Yankees might try to tinker with Pineda’s schedule at a later point in the schedule as well.
“He’s on pace to throw 220 innings. That’s a big stretch for a guy that just hasn’t done it,” Girardi said. “We have a big break at the All-Star break and you can manipulate some things there. My hope is we don’t have to do it before then. Physically, he feels great.”