The Yankees will place right-hander Michael Pineda on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right forearm strain, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter link). The timetable for his return remains unclear, though Sherman says the Yankees do expect Pineda to pitch again in 2015. The injury is the same as the one suffered by Andrew Miller earlier this year, Sherman adds. Miller missed about a month with his forearm strain, though the recovery process for a reliever and for a starting pitcher will probably vary, and Pineda may need more time to return to his previous per-start workload after sitting out.
An injury to Pineda further taxes a Yankees rotation that already contained some question marks. CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi should continue to hold down spots, and the team has used right-hander Bryan Mitchell in the rotation this season as well. There figures to be a good deal of speculation surrounding top prospect Luis Severino as well, though despite a 2.45 ERA this season, he’s already just 14 innings shy of his career-high 113 1/3. Certainly he’ll be expected to exceed that number in 2015 — the question is just to what extent he’ll be able to surpass that mark.
The Yankees have already been linked to pitching upgrades in recent days, though top-of-the-market names such as Cole Hamels and David Price have come off the board. Remaining names range from expensive assets such as James Shields (three years, $64MM following this season) or short-term rentals such as Mike Leake, who is a free agent at season’s end. The Padres have some targets that fall in between those two extremes (Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner), and as Sherman speculates on Twitter, a run at Craig Kimbrel would allow New York to shift Adam Warren back into the rotation and create a dominant late-inning trio.
All of that is sheer speculation, of course, and it remains possible that the Pineda injury won’t do much to alter the Yankees’ course over the coming 24-plus hours. But it’s easy to imagine a scenario where the loss of Pineda, even for a brief time, combined with Toronto’s acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, will hasten GM Brian Cashman’s efforts to upgrade his roster via the trade market.