Michael Pineda will officially begin his tenure as a Yankee on the disabled list.
According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Pineda was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis following an MRI this morning. The 23-year-old right-hander reported some soreness behind his right shoulder last night after being pounded for six runs on seven hits and three walks over just 2 2/3 innings.
Pineda’s diminished velocity has been a constant topic of conversation this spring, so it’s not clear if he’s been trying to pitch through the injury all along. For what it’s worth, he did have a 3.31 ERA and a 16/7 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings before last night’s outing.
The results of the MRI obviously could have been much worse, so the Yankees are fortunate in that respect, but it’s not known when he’ll resume throwing. They figure to be pretty cautious, though. Freddy Garcia is now officially in the Yankees’ starting rotation and will likely start the fifth game of the season on April 10 against the Orioles.
UPDATE: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Pineda will be shut down for 10-15 days, so it’s probably safe to rule him out for the first month of the season.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.