Michael Pineda will need more than four weeks to recover from shoulder strain

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While throwing in a simulated game towards the end of April, Yankees starter Michael Pineda suffered a strain of the teres major muscle in his shoulder. The diagnosis purported Pineda would need three or four weeks to recover. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Pineda will need more than four weeks now, according to manager Joe Girardi, via Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger.

Pineda played catch at a distance of 60 feet on Saturday, Castillo writes, and everything went well, but Girardi is in no mood to rush the right-hander considering his four starts this season were his first for the Yankees since they acquired him in January 2012 in the Jesus Montero trade.

Pineda, of course, made headlines when he was caught on national television with pine tar on his neck, but when he wasn’t brazenly breaking baseball’s rules, he was pitching well for the Yankees. In four starts, the 25-year-old posted a 1.83 ERA with 15 strikeouts and three walks over 19 2/3 innings.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.