Michael Pineda got hurt throwing during his suspension

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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.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.