Pineda, Tex Ready to Play


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Keeping it simple and straight to the point. Some of the final pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together for the Yankees. The Yankees are getting Mark Teixeira and Michael Pineda back this week. Both are expected to be key contributors to the Yankees chase for a 28th World Series title.

Mark Teixeira exact status is still a little fuzzy, but is reportedly going to play in his first game of the spring on either Thursday or Friday. Tex has been taking his time, but it’s all for good reason. His rehab plan has been in place since he had his surgery last July on his right wrist. But just in the past few days Teixeira has been taking batting practice and ground balls at first base.

Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies is an away game at 1pm, so if I was a betting man (which I am), I’d bet he plays Friday at Steinbrenner Field against the Detroit Tigers. Joe Girardi is expected to make a final decision this week, he just wants to see Tex take some more swings against live pitching before he pencils him in

Michael Pineda will be making his debut in that Friday game. He is scheduled to pitch about three innings in relief of Hiroki Kuroda, who will be starting that game. Pineda pitched a simulated game Sunday morning against Scott Sizemore and Zoilo Almonte. Girardi observed from behind the mound and said he looked almost back to form. He was able to do everything Girardi asked of him during the two inning simulated game.

The radar gun wasn’t on him but catcher Pete O’Brian, who was behind the plate said his pitches were finally starting to come to life and Girardi seems to agree. Pineda is fully rehabbed back from his 2012 shoulder injury, is very much looking forward to competing for the final spot in the rotation, but knows there won’t be a decision made till the end of spring training.

“I want to pitch in the game and see what happens,” Pineda said. “Right now I’m feeling good.” This great news for all of us that are waiting to see what they can do in their first live games.