Michael Pineda’s stint on the disabled list may be shorter than expected, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Pineda is slated to make a rehab start for the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate on Sunday, and while he’s only scheduled to throw 45 pitches, he could rejoin the big league rotation five or six days after that start. When Pineda initially landed on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right forearm, it was feared that he’d be out until sometime in September.
More news from the AL East as the weekend looms…
- For all the focus on the Red Sox’ need for pitching, the hole at first base will be a significant need that must be addressed in the offseason, writes WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. Boston has at least had internal discussions about moving Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval to first base, but neither player has been approached by the team yet, Bradford continues. Bradford handicaps the six likeliest scenarios for first base in 2016, with Ramirez leading the way, followed by a trade acquisition. As he notes, Allen Craig’s light hitting even at Triple-A has probably removed him from the equation.
- The Orioles will call up both catcher Steve Clevenger and outfielder Henry Urrutia today, reports MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko, but the corresponding 25-roster moves remain unknown. Kubatko notes that ailing backstop Matt Wieters could yet avoid the disabled list, however. Kubatko also spoke to GM Dan Duquette about the acquisitions of minor league right-handers Matt Buschmann and Jason Stoffel, noting that Stoffel in particular has a chance to impact the Orioles’ big league bullpen at some point. Buschmann, Duquette explained, is a veteran Triple-A arm brought in to help the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, which is currently in contention.
- MLB Network’s Peter Gammons recalls speaking with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos last year about the measures Anthopoulos would take to improve the team. His top priority, according to Gammons, was to get more consistent by improving the club’s defense. As Gammons notes, while much is made of Toronto’s slugging lineup, Anthopoulos deserves credit for the equally impressive run-prevention makeover the team has undergone. By bringing in Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin in the offseason, trading for Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Revere, and giving the everyday center field role to Kevin Pillar, the Blue Jays have transformed into an outstanding defensive unit that complements a much-improved pitching staff.