According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been scratched from his scheduled start tonight and will be placed on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right flexor forearm muscle strain. It’s a tough blow to a New York team that has been dealing with pitching problems throughout all of 2015. No exact timetable has been put together for Pineda at the moment, but earlier this season closer Andrew Miller spent a month on the disabled list with the same injury. Staying healthy has been a tough hurdle for Pineda to overcome so far in his career, so if the Yankees want to ensure a trip to the postseason they may be forced to add some insurance before the end of the trade deadline.
Through 19 starts this season, the 26-year-old Pineda has been solid posting a 3.97 ERA with a strong 7.8 strikeout to walk ratio. Consistency has continued to be a problem for the former All-Star though, who at certain points this season has been either dominant or very average. Throwing an injury into the mix for Michael was the last thing the Yankees wanted to see this season, especially while in the middle of a playoff race. Strong and consistent pitching is what wins World Series these days as the Giants showed us last year, and at the moment that is just something the Yankees completely lack. With just under 24 hours left until the trade deadline comes to an end, the Bronx Bombers might be looking to make some moves to set them up for a deep run into October. Top prospects Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and Jorge Mateo still seem to be off the table at the moment, but being desperate can change the way a front office looks at a situation.
The Evil Empire could possibly go two different routes over the next day, and that could be adding either a legitimate reliever or starter. Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake could really help solidify the middle of the rotation in New York, he’s a guy who knows how to put up good numbers in a hitters friendly environment. Across 21 starts this season Leake has a 3.56 ERA, and as of late has been pitching possibly the best baseball of his career. If a solid starter can’t be acquired though, the Yankees could always look to add to their bullpen which already has one of the best late inning combinations in the MLB. One way to get around lackluster starting pitching is to have a deep bullpen that can shorten games. It has been noted over the past few days that the front office has discussed bringing Craig Kimbrel over from the San Diego Padres, but both sides haven’t been able to match up yet due to the Yanks not wanting to give up shortstop Jorge Mateo. Adding Kimbrel and his dominance in the ninth inning could make the Yankees an even scarier team late in games.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal has reported that many people across baseball expect the Yankees to strike soon after watching the way the market has played out. The Pinstripes are known for sitting back and making the right move at the right time. This team is in a weird position where things could go either really well or terribly. A tough injury or bad move could be what puts the Yankees in a position where they can’t keep up with the Blue Jays and some of the new pieces they’ve acquired. A move needs to be made, and it better be the right one if the Yankees hope to hold onto their lead in the AL East. A third straight season without making the playoffs will not be tolerated for this franchise if everything ends up going wrong over the next two months.