After being acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the trade that sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners, Michael Pineda may be making his way back into the Major Leagues. Last spring, Pineda came into Yankees camp twenty pounds overweight, was ineffective all spring, and finally suffered a major shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire 2012 baseball season. The Yankees were upset at their star acquisition having to miss out on the 2012 season, but at the same time were hopeful that Pineda would be able to come back in 2013 with higher velocity and a fresh outlook on his pitching career.
When he met with the media today in Tampa, Michael Pineda expressed his negative feelings regarding last spring training. Regretting coming into Tampa twenty pounds overweight, Pineda said that it was a "mistake" and that he will do everything he can in order to come back stronger than ever before. Shoulder injuries are very tricky and often times, people do not come back from labrum tears. Being a pitcher, Pineda relies heavily on his shoulder for obvious reasons. However, Pineda came to camp weeks earlier than the official reporting date and has been gradually working up toward a comeback to the Yankees.
Just today, Pineda advanced to throwing off a full mound and did so without any discomfort, which is vital for his progression. Girardi has made it known that Pineda will probably not pitch in any spring games, but his arrival in the Bronx could come as early as June. If the Yankees rotation is already effective and injury-free, it should be an interesting situation for Girardi if he has a surplus of pitching come mid-season.
Judging from Pineda's attitude, he has matured greatly. The shoulder injury has taught him that things don't come easily in life, and even less easy in the unforgiving game of baseball. Michael Pineda has a huge upside, and I am looking forward to watching him thrive in pinstripes for years to come. I will go out of a limb assume that Pineda shares the same sentiments.