Brian Cashman says Michael Pineda is taking “baby steps”


Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave an update on Michael Pineda’s setback-filled recovery from a strained back muscle, telling Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger that the rehabbing right-hander “is going through baby steps.”

Pineda last pitched in April, first serving a suspension for pine tar usage and then hurting himself while pitching on the side during the suspension.

According to Cashman the Yankees are now somewhat hopeful that Pineda can return in August, although given the inaccuracy of their previous timetables that doesn’t mean a whole lot at the moment.

Kuty reports that Pineda has just now started a throwing program, making 25 tosses from 60 feet over the weekend.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.