After missing all of 2012 due to injury, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda may not take the mound until later than originally expected in 2013.
In an interview with Ian O'Connor on ESPNNewYork 98.7 FM (per ESPNNewYork.com), Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave the latest update on Pineda's status for next season.
On Michael Pineda's return from major shoulder surgery: "We have to keep him off our radar for now. ... We're talking June of next year ... the second half of next year."
The return date of June 2013 or later is a surprise considering it was thought that Pineda would be back by spring training 2013, but that appears to no longer be the case.
It was a rough year for Pineda, even without taking the mound once in a regular-season game. After he was lost to shoulder surgery, Pineda was busted for DUI in August (per Dan Mangan of the New York Post), further adding to the concern about his future with the team.
At this point, Pineda's presence on the 2013 roster is very much in doubt. If the right-hander were to experience any more setbacks—which is certainly possible—he could be KO'd for the entirety of 2013 as well.
Not to mention, if the Yanks' rotation is set by the time he returns, Pineda may not have a slot to fill at all.
That is something that the Yankees would consider a nightmare at best. The Bombers traded their top prospect, Jesus Montero, to the Seattle Mariners to acquire Pineda before the 2012 season.
Montero went on to have a solid rookie season in Seattle despite hitting in a pitcher's park at Safeco Field. Montero hit 15 homers and knocked in 62 runs while sporting a .260 average in 2012. It remains to be seen just how good Montero will be in the long run, but those numbers are a pretty good start.
So far, the Mariners have easily won out on this trade, but only time will tell who ultimately got the better of the deal. However, it looks like we'll have to wait until at least June to continue to make that assessment.