UPDATE (Mon.): Pineda will in fact undergo Tommy John surgery in Cincinnati on Tuesday, according to a team announcement.
ORIGINAL: Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda has been diagnosed with a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and Tommy John surgery has been recommended, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Friday (H/T to Barstool Sports). Pineda will seek a second opinion before going under the knife.
Pineda, 28, is scheduled to hit free agency after this season, so today’s news is especially crushing for him. A serviceable starter since breaking into the majors with Seattle in 2011, Pineda was likely to receive a significant guarantee on a weak free-agent market for starting pitchers.
Pineda will miss the rest of this season and a significant chunk of 2018 if he does undergo surgery, leaving a significant hole in the Yankees’ rotation for the stretch run. New York has Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery still in the rotation mix, and will likely call upon Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa or Adam Warren in the short-term.
Pineda’s injury increases the likelihood the Yankees will trade for a starter before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, though the options are limited. New York is unlikely to add a rental piece like Jaime Garcia, especially if they keep falling in the AL East, but could obtain a controllable starter like Sonny Gray if the price is right.
Pineda owns an 8-4 record and 4.39 ERA in 17 starts for the Yankees this season.