Pineda plays catch, but April return unlikely

Pineda plays catch, but April return unlikely

Pineda plays catch, but April return unlikely
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda will remain behind at the club's Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., when the team goes north, and he's unlikely to pitch at the Major League level in April.

Pineda was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis, retroactive to March 31, and he made about 25 tosses on flat ground during the Yankees' workout at Tropicana Field on Thursday.

"I think if he wouldn't have been able to play catch, we wouldn't have been too excited," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But he was able to play catch, and he felt pretty good."

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Girardi is not sure when Pineda will be able to get back on a mound and said it is "safe to say" the hurler will be lost at the big league level for all of the season's first month.

Girardi said that Pineda will stay with the club during its series against the Rays, and that exposure could pay dividends later in the year for the 23-year-old.

"I think it can help," Girardi said. "I think you can observe what goes on here the next three days to see what it's like to be a Yankee, in a sense. Spring Training was obviously different for him than what he was accustomed to, but the season, it even picks up a little bit more."