Right-hander Michael Pineda is off the disabled list and back in the Yankees’ starting rotation after missing the past month with a strained forearm.
Pineda got off to an excellent start this season, including a dominant 16-strikeout game against the Orioles in mid-May, but after that he went 4-7 with a 4.77 ERA in a dozen starts before going on the disabled list.
He’s expected to be on a limited pitch count initially and given Pineda’s lengthy injury history the Yankees may try to manage his workload down the stretch, but if healthy he could play a huge role in New York’s playoff push.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.