Yankees’ right-hander Michael Pineda could undergo Tommy John surgery as soon as next Tuesday, according to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. Pineda sustained a flexor muscle strain and a partial UCL tear in his right elbow and was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday, retroactive to July 6. The club has recommended Tommy John surgery, but the right-hander is expected to seek a second opinion from Reds’ physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek before moving forward with any treatment plan. Should he choose to commit to the procedure, however, he’ll be sidelined through the first half of the 2018 season, if not longer.
This is the latest in a long line of injuries for the 28-year-old, who dealt with a devastating shoulder injury in 2012 and was beset with elbow issues during his time in the Mariners’ farm system in 2009. He completed his first injury-free season in 2016 and was working toward some career-high numbers during the first half of the 2017 season, pitching to a 4.39 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 17 starts and 96 1/3 innings.
Not only is Pineda’s loss a terrible blow for the Yankees, but it will have a significant impact on his chances of landing another gig when he hits free agency this winter. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
We’ve lost somebody of importance to us in Michael Pineda,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “I’m sorry that has happened. First and foremost for Michael, as he approaches free agency, [he was] obviously interested in having a big year. We’ve been interested in benefiting from his performance in helping us win and compete on an everyday basis. This is a significant loss for our team.
While the team hasn’t announced an official replacement for Pineda in the rotation, Hoch notes that they will likely look to acquire affordable pitching depth at the deadline, as they’re not ready to recall top prospect Chance Adams just yet.