Michael Pineda tops out at 95 mph in extended spring training game

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The Yankees still haven’t gotten anything out of right-hander Michael Pineda since he was acquired from the Mariners last offseason, but here’s an encouraging note to pass along regarding his rehab from shoulder surgery.

According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Pineda sat at 93 mph and topped out at 95 mph during an outing in extended spring training today. That’s great news considering how he struggled with his velocity prior to his labrum surgery last May.

Cashman told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York earlier this week that Pineda should be ready for a minor league rehab assignment this month. If all goes well, he could join the Yankees at some point in June.

Pineda, who turned 24 in January, had a 3.74 ERA and 173/55 K/BB ratio in 171 innings over 28 starts as a rookie with the Mariners in 2011. Shoulder injuries can be tricky, but he could provide a big boost to the Yankees’ rotation if healthy.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.