Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda threw a simulated game today in order to maintain his arm strength during his 10-game suspension, but now he’s headed for an MRI exam after experiencing soreness in his lat muscle.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Pineda had to cut short the simulated game and now the Yankees are worried he won’t be able to make his first post-suspension start Monday as planned.
Pineda last pitched on April 23, when he was booted from a start against the Red Sox in the second inning for having pine tar on his neck. David Phelps would likely fill in next Monday against the Angels if needed and considering Pineda’s previous injury track record any setback is awfully worrisome.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.