Please set the Michael Pineda fastball velocity watch back to DEFCON 4

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Michael Pineda has found the few miles per hour that have been missing from his fastball. David Waldstein of the New York Times:

With a solid performance Sunday, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda might have quelled for now some of the near panic over the mysterious loss of three or four miles per hour on his fastball.  Pitching against the Detroit Tigers, Pineda reached 94 m.p.h on the radar gun and afterward declared he had not reached his top gear.

“I have more,” he said.

I’d normally say that we could go fully back to DEFCON 5 — the lowest state of readiness — but we should all still be vigilant here and keep things at DEFCON 4. I mean, Pineda could be throwing at 91 AT ANY TIME, and we need to be able to move into panic mode at a moment’s notice.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.