Michael Pineda: New York Yankees Place Pitcher on DL, Rotation Set for Now

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2012

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during the New York Yankees Photo Day on February 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Michael Pineda's velocity has been down all spring but the New York Yankees might have finally discovered the reason for the decline. 

The Yankees sent Pineda for an MRI on his shoulder after he experienced shoulder soreness and tightness after his outing on Friday night. The MRI showed no structural damage but revealed tendinitis in Pineda's shoulder. 

New York has placed Pineda on the disabled list where he will begin the season. Pineda is expected to be out until at least May.

The New York Daily News quoted Yankees manager Joe Girardi as saying, "It's great news. Very relieved, because the rest of the MRI came out good. You always worry about rotator cuff and other things in the shoulder. The rest of the shoulder came out good."

At this point the Yankees are not significantly affected by this injury as long as it does not persist or turn in to a long-term problem. It will allow the Yankees to figure out their pitching situation over the first month of the season.

It was assumed that the Yankees would send Pineda to the minors to begin the season and allow Freddy Garcia to begin the year as the fifth starter. With Pineda's move to the DL, there is no choice to be made as Garcia will take over for Pineda .

There is now a chance for Garcia to pitch and potentially raise his trade value for New York so that when Pineda is ready Garcia can be traded and Pineda can slide back into the rotation. There is also a chance that Garcia transitions to the bullpen at some point.

With the addition of Andy Pettitte presumably coming around the same time that Pineda will be returning, there will be some major decisions for GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees to make in the near future.

For now, however, Pineda will have time to rest his shoulder and work on returning to the 23-year-old dominant pitcher that the Yankees traded for.