Michael Pineda returns from suspension, goes on the disabled list

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Michael Pineda is officially back from his 10-game suspension for having pine tar on his neck, so the Yankees have placed him on the disabled list.

Pineda suffered a teres major muscle strain last week while throwing a simulated game to keep his arm strength intact during the suspension and is now expected to miss 3-4 weeks with the injury.

After missing all of 2012 and 2013 with shoulder problems Pineda looked fantastic through his first four starts, throwing 20 innings with a 1.93 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio up until the point he got booted by umpires in the second inning on April 23.

Workload-wise taking a few more weeks off may not be such a bad thing for Pineda long term, but that assumes the injury doesn’t linger of course. David Phelps will continue to fill in for Pineda in the Yankees’ rotation.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.