While in town to be examined by team doctors yesterday Michael Pineda made a surprise appearance in the Yankees clubhouse, hanging out with the new teammates he barely got to know before undergoing shoulder surgery in April.
Pineda described himself as “feeling better right now” but was also quick to note that he hasn’t been cleared to start throwing again, telling Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star Ledger that his goal is to do so “in the middle of September.”
That obviously rules out any kind of game action this season, minors or majors, but that was expected when Pineda had his torn labrum repaired and it should give him plenty of time to be ready for next spring. For now he’ll continue rehabbing at the Yankees’ complex in Florida.
Meanwhile, Jesus Montero is hitting .266 with eight homers and a .721 OPS in 62 games for the Mariners, so even with Pineda blowing out his arm almost immediately the trade hasn’t been a disaster for New York yet.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.