Michael Pineda had an MRI on his back that tightened up during a simulated game in Tampa while he sits out his suspension for using pine tar. That MRI has revealed that the Yankee right-hander has a Grade 1 strain of his teres major muscle and will be examined by team doctor Christopher Ahmad in New York later tonight or tomorrow.
This injury will almost certainly mean a DL stint is ahead for Pineda, causing the Yankees to keep David Phelps in their rotation. Having Ivan Nova and Pineda replaced by Vidal Nuno and Phelps so early in the season is obviously not the ideal scenario anyone would have dreamed up, but it could possibly work out in the Yankees' favor over the long haul. The team obviously needed to find a way to limit Pineda's innings in his first season back in almost two years while recovering from surgery on his shoulder. A small non-serious DL stint would allow Pineda to pitch deeper into the year and the Yankees to have to worry just a little less about how they are going to manage Pineda's innings. Not anything that could be considered the best case scenario, but it is a bit of a silver lining if you need one.
The flip side of that coin is this:
Let's not sugarcoat the Michael Pineda injury: While the teres major isn't part of the rotator cuff, it is part of the shoulder. Never good.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 30, 2014
But then there's this!
@JeffPassan It's below the shoulder. The teres major and minor muscles bound the axillary space (armpit). Not connected to labrum or r. cuff— keithlaw (@keithlaw) April 30, 2014
We should know more about the course of action and how much time the team expects Pineda to miss with this particular ailment after he is examined by Dr. Ahmad, but here is the preliminary plan.
Pineda getting shut down for 10 days and will have to be built up again after that. So he's out a minimum of 3-4 weeks.— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) April 30, 2014