Michael Pineda is officially back from his 10-game suspension for having pine tar on his neck, so the Yankees have placed him on the disabled list.
Pineda suffered a teres major muscle strain last week while throwing a simulated game to keep his arm strength intact during the suspension and is now expected to miss 3-4 weeks with the injury.
After missing all of 2012 and 2013 with shoulder problems Pineda looked fantastic through his first four starts, throwing 20 innings with a 1.93 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio up until the point he got booted by umpires in the second inning on April 23.
Workload-wise taking a few more weeks off may not be such a bad thing for Pineda long term, but that assumes the injury doesn’t linger of course. David Phelps will continue to fill in for Pineda in the Yankees’ rotation.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.