Michael Pineda made a most unexpected appearance in the Yankees clubhouse this afternoon. The big right hander was in town for a checkup on his surgically repaired labrum.
“The doctors say everything is great right now, so I’m continuing this plan,” he said. “… Now I’m just starting working on my exercises. I go to physical therapy every day. No throwing right now.”
Pineda said he’s been told he could begin throwing in mid-September. He’s hoping to be ready for spring training.
“He’s been here the past couple of days, just some checkups with doctors,” Joe Girardi said. “Everything is going great. It’s good to see him not in a sling and walking around freely. He’ll go back to Tampa and just continue with his rehab. I’m not sure exactly what he’s doing. It’s a long process.”
For whatever it’s worth, Pineda seemed to be in even better shape than he was in during spring training — he was wearing street clothes, so it’s hard to tell for certain — and he seemed much more comfortable with a group interview setting.
“Everything is great,” he said. “I’m feeling great right now. I’m feeling much better.”
• Nick Swisher ran and took batting practice inside this afternoon. Girardi checked with him, and Swisher said he coudl play tonight. “He told me he was good to go,” Girardi said. “I said, we’ll go through BP and if we have to change (the lineup) we have to change it, or if there’s a point tonight where you feel like it tightens up, let me know and we’ll go from there.”
• Girardi said he might have started Swisher at DH if there were any indication that Swisher would be limited running in the outfield. Swisher indicated that he can move without a problem, and Girardi said he’d rather use the DH spot to rest Alex Rodriguez, especially with the mid-week day game tomorrow.
• Swisher on the injury: “Yesterday when I went to take my swings, I felt like when I tried to take my normal swings I couldn’t do it. I don’t want to mess with that because I feel like I have a good stroke going right now. I wanted to make sure I could do that. Robbie and I did our net drill out there and everything went well, so we’re ready to go.”
• By the way, Swisher said he could have only played last night in an extreme emergency. He said CC Sabathia would have been a better pinch hitting option. “I was telling them to put big C in there, and then I’d go in behind him,” Swisher said.
• David Aardsma made his first rehab appearance in the Gulf Coast League today. Aardsma tweeted that his next outing will be Saturday, also in the Gulf Coast League. “I have not been given a time frame on him, but obviously he’s a lot closer than when we left (spring training),” Girardi said.
• Speaking of rehabbing relievers in Tampa: “I’m working together with (Joba Chamberlain), talking to him every day,” Pineda said. “He’s looking good. I’ve seen a couple of bullpens from this guy, and he looks good in the bullpen.”
• Brett Gardner is wearing a massive brace on his right arm. He said he has to wear it even in bed to keep himself from doing much of anything with his elbow.
• Girardi on what’s made Hiroki Kuroda so good recently: “I think his slider has been real effective, getting him back into counts, getting him ahead in counts. I think he’s pitched in well to lefties. Pitching in to righties was something that came a little easier, I think, for him. He’s been more effective inside to lefties. And he’s used his curveball a little bit more.”
Associated Press photos