March 20, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees Pitcher Michael Pineda Nearing Return

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A year and a half ago, pitcher Michael Pineda was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero.

Oddly enough, they’re both in the news today, but at opposite spectrums.

Montero, as we documented earlier, was demoted to AAA Tacoma, but the piece he was traded for in Michael Pineda had some encouraging news today.

Pineda, who underwent surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder in April of 2012 finally took the mound, tossing five innings in an extended spring training game this afternoon – and did so pain free.

Per Andy McCullough:

Pineda threw five innings at the complex today, Cashman said. Fastball sat at 93. He could start rehab assignment after one more appearance.

Assuming all goes well and Pineda doesn’t experience any soreness in the next few days (or after his next appearance), it’s expected that he’ll head on a minor league rehab assignment and not long after that, find his way back to the Bronx.

It’ll be a welcome debut for the 24-year-old arm as he’s yet to even pitch in a regular season game for the Yankees.

Pineda of course, prior to his call-up, was a near top ten prospect and it showed in his results as he not only had an impressive 3.74 ERA in his first (and lone) season, but he was also selected to be a member of the 2011 American League All-Star team during his rookie year.

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Tags: Michael Pineda New York Yankees

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