Joe Girardi: “Safe to say” Michael Pineda won’t pitch for Yankees before May

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Michael Pineda begins the season on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis after showing decreased velocity in Yankees camp and today manager Joe Girardi admitted that it’s “safe to say” Pineda won’t be in the majors until at least May.

Freddy Garcia resumes fifth-starter duties with Pineda out of the picture, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Yankees handle their rotation next month.

Assuming that Pineda gets healthy and Andy Pettitte continues to build up arm strength they’ll have seven starters for five spots, although at this point I suppose that’s a “cross that bridge when they get there” problem.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.