Two weeks after officially returning to the Yankees on a one-year, $10 million deal Mariano Rivera made it very clear that he expects to be fully recovered from knee surgery by Opening Day.
“Oh, yeah, I don’t see why not,” Rivera said, via Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. “We have at least three months, four months until that point. I’ll be ready.”
Rivera noted that he hasn’t started throwing regularly yet, but added that he’s “feeling good” and “the leg’s getting stronger and stronger.”
Because the Yankees are not expected to re-sign fill-in closer Rafael Soriano they’re definitely counting on Rivera being healthy and effective in 2013, but David Robertson is still around as a potentially excellent closer if things don’t go totally according to plan.
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.