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Yankees Need Pitching as Pineda Hits the Shelf

MLBlogs.com

MLBlogs.com

With the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaching, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees may want to significantly step up their pursuits of a starting pitcher.

That is because Michael Pineda is heading the disabled list with a Grade 1 forearm strain, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Word that something was up with the Yankees hurler was first reported by Mike Francesa on WFAN early Thursday afternoon.

The injury means CC Sabathia will start in place of Pineda on Thursday night as the Bombers prepare to wrap up their series with the Texas Rangers in Arlington. As Sherman points out, the injury is the same as the one that sidelined closer Andrew Miller for a month earlier in the season.  According to a source who wished to remain unnamed due to the fact that more medical tests have to be done, Pineda’s injury does not seem all that serious at the moment.

Obviously, such hope should be taken with a grain of salt given Pineda’s expansive injury history. The news also comes with poor timing to boot. Pineda, who is 9-7 with a 3.97 ERA and 8.9 K/9 ratio, will leave a hole in New York’s rotation as they try and hang on to their AL East lead. The Yankees were already feeling pressure to make a move in lieu of the Toronto Blue Jays’ acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price. With Pineda now hurt, they are desperate, and the rest of the league knows it.

Cashman was already said to be shopping for a starter before Thursday, but now he needs to go on the offensive, no matter how long Pineda is out for. A few potential options could include Mike Leake of the Reds, Yovani Gallardo of the Rangers, Alfredo Simon of the Tigers, and Matt Garza of the Brewers. The Padres also have up to four starters available in James Shields, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy.

Since the Yanks were already looking for pitching, Cashman could trade for one of the guys mentioned above and go with an in-house option to fill out the rotation. Bryan Mitchell and Adam Warren are always options, but so is prospect Luis Severino, whom many believe is big league ready.

One way or another, expect there to be plenty of more news coming out the Bronx prior to Friday’s deadline.

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