A.J. Pierzynski set to begin rehab assignment next week

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A.J. Pierzynski won’t return from the disabled list when he’s first eligible tomorrow, but there’s a good chance he’ll be back with the White Sox as soon as next weekend.

According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, Pierzynski tested his fractured right wrist yesterday by catching Gavin Floyd’s bullpen session and participating in batting practice.

“All good. All positive,” Pierzynski said. “We’ll do it again tomorrow and see how it reacts, and then go from there.”

Pierzynski was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career earlier this month. He is tentatively scheduled to play three minor league rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte early next week, including one where he’ll catch Phil Humber, who is on the disabled list with a facial contusion. Barring any setbacks, the veteran backstop will return for a crucial series against the first-place Tigers next weekend.

Pierzynski, 34, is hitting .296/.338/.412 with six home runs, 39 RBI and a .750 OPS over 402 plate appearances this season. Tyler Flowers has filled in admirably during his absence, batting .333 (12-for-36) with one home run, three doubles, one triple and a .984 OPS.

Michael Pineda throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

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According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.

He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.

Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.