Yankees pitcher Micheal Pineda got the worst possible diagnosis a couple of weeks ago when he learned he tore his labrum. But despite the fact that it has sometimes taken guys two years to truly come back from that — and has ended many more careers — Pineda told WFAN today that his doctor thinks it’s all good:
Q: Is your hope that you’ll be ready to pitch next spring training?
A: Yeah, the doctor before the surgery, he told me, “Hey no worries. You can’t pitch this year, but I promise next year you’ll be ready 100 percent in spring training.” That’s what he told me before the surgery.
I suppose we should take Pineda at his word, but in my experience doctor’s don’t make promises like that. Partially because you can’t ever know things like that this far out, but also because doctors really aren’t big fans of being sued.
My doctor won’t guarantee me that the stethoscope won’t be cold. I have a hard time seeing a surgeon tell a professional athlete that his more-often-than-not career-ending injury will be 100% healed and he’ll be good to go in less than a year.
But hey, maybe Pineda has a better doctor than I do.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.