How much would it mean to the New York Yankees to get two good months of Michael Pineda in their rotation?
Set aside his injury history and his unfortunate pine tar incidents, and you are still looking at adding a big powerful arm to a rotation that has been held together with gum and toothpicks all season. How much of a boost would it be for the Yankees if Pineda was able to pitch well down the stretch?
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Pineda is set to return on Wednesday:
Esmil Rogers had been initially announced as the Yanks’ probable starter for Wednesday, but the team decided to have Pineda forgo a third Minor League rehab start and make his start in the big leagues instead.
“I’m very, very happy. I’m coming back to my team and to the rotation,” Pineda said.
Pineda has not been seen in the Majors since April 23, when he was ejected in the second inning of a start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park after umpires found pine tar, an illegal substance, slathered on the side of his neck.
That seems like a risky tact with a guy who has been as fragile as Pineda, but the Yankees must feel good enough about the situation to run with him. Through just four starts earlier in the year, Pineda posted a solid 1.83 ERA and showed signs of the kind of stuff that made him an elite prospect in the first place.
Any kind of boost from Pineda might rank up there with any mid-season move the Yankees could have made outside the organization, so many eyes will be on the young righty’s start on Wednesday.