Here’s the somewhat bizarre twist in the Michael Pineda shoulder saga: Turns out his agent asked for a second opinion even before the Yankees got a first opinion.
Joe Girardi said that Pineda went for today’s scheduled MRI with Dr. Christopher Ahmad, but even before the visit, Pineda’s agent asked that Pineda also be evaluated by Dr. David Altchek. So, although Pineda has been tested today, there will be no details announced until Altchek does his evaluation tomorrow.
“When they found out he was going to New York, his agent requested that whatever happens, we want a second opinion,” Girardi said. “Whatever that means, we should know more as time goes on.”
Pineda’s agent made the request immediately after Pineda was pulled from Saturday’s rehab outing in extended spring training. Girardi said he doesn’t know why there’s a preference for a second opinion, but he speculated that some agents simply have doctors they know and trust.
It’s been three and a half weeks since Pineda made that final spring training start, and Girardi said it will likely be at least another three and a half weeks before he’s able to get on a mound again.
“It’s not what you want,” Girardi said. “We thought we were going to get a power pitcher that pitched very well and we believed had a very huge upside. Right now, we don’t have him and right now I can’t tell you when we’re going to get him back. That part is disappointing.”
• The Yankees have decided that Freddy Garcia will start either Saturday or Sunday because they don’t want to give him too much time between starts. The only question is whether CC Sabathia starts Saturday on normal rest or Sunday on an extra day of rest. The remaining starters will stay on turn beginning with Hiroki Kuroda on Monday.
• Andy Pettitte is scheduled for 80-85 pitches in Double-A tomorrow. “We want him to get to 95-100 before you really start thinking about (bringing him back),” Girardi said. “I’m curious to see how he throws tomorrow and how he bounces back. Now you’re starting to get some higher pitch counts and you want to see how he’s bouncing back. At any point, does he need an extra day in between? It’s possible. It’s not unusual for us to give them an extra day in spring training, just because as they get up higher.”
• Although he’s previous indicated that Pettitte would need three more minor league starts (including tomorrow’s), Girardi said today that he doesn’t want to set any sort of expectation for Pettitte’s return to New York.
• Girardi indicated yesterday that he would likely give Alex Rodriguez a DH day, so it’s no surprise to see Eric Chavez at third base today.
• Hiroki Kuroda seemed the same as usual yesterday, and he seemed the same as usual today. He seems completely unaffected by his matchup with Yu Darvish. “He’s been through it where he was the attention,” Girardi said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of attention on this game, and there’s a lot of pride in this game, but I think he’s been through it enough that he understands what this means. He’s not the new kid on the block any more.”
• Looks like Adrian Beltre made it back sooner than expected. He’s in the Rangers lineup today.
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton CF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Michael Young DH
Nelson Cruz RF
David Murphy LF
Mike Napoli C
Mitch Moreland 1B
Associated Press photo