The New York Yankees are likely to be without one of their starting pitchers the rest of this season after Michael Pineda was diagnosed by doctors Friday. The Yankees pitcher has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament of the right elbow, said Brian Cashman the team’s general manager.
Doctors recommended that Pineda have Tommy John surgery. If that is the chosen procedure, it would end the season for Pineda. The right-hander is expected to receive a second opinion, but he has already been placed on the disabled list by the team.
Cashman said that Pineda had not spoken to anyone about feeling any discomfort in his right elbow until a few days following his last start for the team that was on July 5 prior to the All-Star Game break.
On the season, Pineda is 8-4 with an ERA of 4.65. Recently he has been struggling with a record of 2-2 and an ERA of 6.14 over his seven most recent outings.
Pineda, who is 28, will be a free agent at the end of this season.
This injury will likely put more pressure on Yankee’s management, especially Cashman to make a trade for another starting pitcher.
At the start of the season, it was expected that Masahiro Tanaka would be the ace of the starting rotation by he has struggled from the start. Tanaka is now 7-8 with an ERA of 5.47. At the same time, CC Sabathia returned for the first time on July 4 following a stint on the DL but was roughed up.
Cashman has said that the Yankees would be buyers, yet very careful, as the trade deadline of July 31 approaches. He repeatedly has said that he is reluctant to sacrifice any of the top prospects the team has.
Adding to the problems of the Yankees is first base. Greg Bird is hoping that another injection for his ankle will help, but surgery is likely. Bird has not played since early May and surgery could keep him out up to 8 weeks.
Garrett Cooper, who the Yankees just acquired to play first base, has joined them for their series this weekend at Fenway Park against AL East rivals Boston.
Copper was acquired by the Yankees on Thursday in a trade with Milwaukee. He played for Colorado Springs in Triple-A where he hit 17 home runs and had 82 RBIs over 75 games