Michael Pineda will make rehab start on Saturday

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Pineda has finally been cleared to begin his 30-day rehab assignment now that he has built up arm strength and looks healthy. He threw 65 pitches in an extended spring training game on Monday and everything went well. He will join High-A Tampa and start his first game on Saturday, so that will be our first look at his in-game stuff, since it's incredibly difficult to find out about anything that happens in extended spring training. It was reported that he was throwing consistently in the low-mid 90s and the hope is that he can up it from there.

If everything goes well for him during his rehab, and the Yankees take those 30 days very literally, Pineda could finish up his rehab on, or around, July 7, which is the week before the All-Star break. If he makes his final start on that day, he could then pitch in the majors when the Twins come into the Bronx from July 12-14. The Yankees could also choose to let him wait until after the All-Star break.

It is obviously way too early to project and Pineda could prove to be ineffective or at least less effective than David Phelps or whoever has the fifth starter spot. If he ends up getting held up from joining the Yankees it will be his own doing because Phelps, Ivan Nova, Vidal Nuno or even Phil Hughes are not going to get in Pineda's way if he looks ready.

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