Michael Pineda, who left the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 5 after three innings due to an elbow injury has elected to have Tommy John Surgery. Pineda, after receiving the first opinion from the Yankee’s doctor said that the surgery was necessary. He then went out and received a second opinion from the Red’s team doctor who also confirmed that surgery was needed.
Pineda was having his average year with a 4.39 earned run average will still be a huge blow to the struggling Yankees rotation. Pineda had given up 1.29 walks and hits per inning was a below average starter who had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of just 4.38 to 1. He does however, average 8.6 strikeouts, along with just over 1.96 walks per nine innings. Along with that, he has given up 1.87 home runs per nine innings pitched.
Pinedo will now miss the rest of the 2017 season, along with the 2018 season, as the surgery requires a rehab that takes between 12 to 18 months. The surgery, which is commonly called Tommy John will occur to repair the torn UCL in his right elbow. Even after the 18 months of rehab are done, that does not necessarily mean that he will be pitching at the major league level again.
Pineda signed a 1-year $7.4 million deal to avoid arbitration as the Yankees had only one year left of team control and will become a free agent as he starts his rehab back from surgery. This could be a replication of what happened with Nathan Eovaldi as he missed the entire 2017 season and part of the 2016 season. With Eovaldi, who injured his elbow, the Rays signed him to a 1-year deal with a team option for the 2018 season to see if he would be able to pitch for them.
The injury to Pineda who was having his average year does not help the struggling Yankees rotation. It does not help Pineda’s future either as he is a free agent after this year. Hopefully Pineda has a healthy rehab and can return back to baseball.