on July 29, 2014 at 7:03 PM, updated July 29, 2014 at 7:07 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — The news the Yankees got on Michael Pineda was “really good,” Joe Girardi said.
The 25-year-old starting pitcher made it through a three-inning, 45-pitch simulated game in Tampa, Fla., early Tuesday, Girardi said.
He’s had a rough rehab from a strained teres major muscle in his back, which, combined with a 10-game suspension, has kept him off a big-league mound since late April.
Pineda’s next start will happen in a real game and will last about four innings and 60 to 65 pitches, Girardi said. The manager said he wasn’t sure at which level of the minors the start would happen.
Girardi said he’d like to see Pineda throw about 90 pitches in a rehab start before summoning him from the disabled list, where he’s been since May 6.
Girardi also declined to estimate when Pineda might return, though he would be on track to come back around mid-August at this point.
Pineda would be a boost, Girardi said, to a Yankees rotation that’s been put together with spare parts.
Four of the five starters in their Opening Day rotation are on the disabled list.
Of those, CC Sabathia (knee) and Ivan Nova (elbow), won’t return in 2014. Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) is iffy, as he isn’t scheduled to begin a rehab program until next week and would need at least another week weeks after that to make a full recovery.