Rehabbing Pineda on verge of rejoining rotation

Rehabbing Pineda on verge of rejoining rotation

NEW YORK -- With two Minor League rehab starts under his belt, Michael Pineda said that he is ready to rejoin the Yankees' rotation, giving manager Joe Girardi a choice to make in advance of next week's showdown with the American League East-leading Orioles.

Pineda fired 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball on Friday evening for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Columbus, showcasing a fastball that sat between 92 and 94 mph as well as a swing-and-miss slider.

"Everything is good," Pineda said on Saturday. "My pitches are there, my velocity is there. I'm feeling good, and I'm happy with that."

Pineda threw 72 pitches in the outing, scattering six hits while walking none and striking out seven. He said that he has not been told where his next start will be, but he feels prepared to face big league hitters.

"I'm feeling great," Pineda said. "Everything is normal."

The Yankees had said that they wanted Pineda to reach 90 pitches in a Minor League rehab start before activating him, but David Phelps' injury has changed the landscape.

Esmil Rogers pitched well in a spot start on Friday, holding the Indians to a run over five innings. Girardi said that Pineda and Rogers will both have throw days on Sunday, providing the manager the option of handing the ball to either pitcher on Wednesday in Baltimore.

"That's something that we'll have to talk about," Girardi said. "[Pineda's] next start, he could go to 90 [pitches], but we'll sit down and we'll talk about it."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.