Please set the Michael Pineda fastball velocity watch back to DEFCON 4

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Michael Pineda has found the few miles per hour that have been missing from his fastball. David Waldstein of the New York Times:

With a solid performance Sunday, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda might have quelled for now some of the near panic over the mysterious loss of three or four miles per hour on his fastball.  Pitching against the Detroit Tigers, Pineda reached 94 m.p.h on the radar gun and afterward declared he had not reached his top gear.

“I have more,” he said.

I’d normally say that we could go fully back to DEFCON 5 — the lowest state of readiness — but we should all still be vigilant here and keep things at DEFCON 4. I mean, Pineda could be throwing at 91 AT ANY TIME, and we need to be able to move into panic mode at a moment’s notice.

White Sox sign Ervin Santana to minors deal

Ervin Santana
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Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.

The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.

Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.