Michael Pineda is ready to face live hitters

8 Comments

Michael Pineda went from being suspended for having pine tar on his neck to going on the disabled list with a teres major muscle strain, but now the Yankees right-hander is ready to take a big step in his recovery.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Pineda will face live hitters Saturday for the first time since the injury, which occurred when he was throwing a bullpen session to maintain arm strength while serving his 10-game suspension.

Pineda’s comeback was going extremely well before the suspension, as he posted a 1.83 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio in four starts after missing all of 2012 and all of 2013 with shoulder problems. He hasn’t pitched since April 23, but barring a setback he’s aiming to rejoin the Yankees’ rotation next month.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
1 Comment

We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.