Michael Pineda to start in Trenton on Tuesday

Jeff Gross

Trenton Thunder beat writer Josh Norris said that Michael Pineda will be pitching for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday for his next regularly scheduled start. He made a start on Thursday with High-A Tampa, going four innings, allowing five hits (three of them were given up to start the game), one earned run, one walk and collecting three strikeouts. He threw 73 pitches and will up his pitch count to around 80 pitches in his next start. He has consistently sat in the 92-93 mph range, but has also hit 95 and 96 at times. If he's touching that now, so soon after beginning his rehab, the hope is that he can sit higher once he builds up arm strength.

Brian Cashman said that they would be looking for him to make five rehab starts before they make a decision on where he should go. Pineda is on a 30-day rehab assignment, but if the Yankees assign him to Triple-A they can delay his service time in order to keep him for a fourth year, instead of three. His start at Trenton would be his fourth, so if all goes well he could move up to Triple-A for a start before he is either brought to the big leagues or held back for a few weeks.

The Yankees are struggling mightily on offense, but rushing Pineda back won't help with that. Maybe the Yankees see that and don't want to waste his service time on a lost year when they can save him for next year. He's been projected to be ready for a call up in mid-July, but maybe those plans have been altered to preserve their asset.

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