Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that Michael Pineda will miss a full year with a torn labrum. The team announced the right-hander will have surgery to repair an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder on Tuesday.
On a conference call, Cashman said he believed the injury occurred last week in the last pitch of his last rehab outing. Cashman noted the week before the injury, "he tested out strong as a bull." He was tested after the 15-pitch outing last Friday and there was a notable change in his physical testing.
Acquired in a trade for the Yankees' top prospect, Jesus Montero, in the offseason, Pineda has not pitched in a game for New York. Cashman said there was an MRI done in January before the trade and then another in the spring.
"In no way do I believe the Seattle Mariners had any knowledge [of the injury]," Cashman said. "He was a fully healthy player when we acquired him. ... This is just an unfortunate circumstance."
Cashman said he wouldn't answer any more questions on the topic that Pineda may have been damaged goods.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told ESPNNewYork.com that the Mariners had no idea Pineda was injured when he made the trade.
"Absolutely not," Zduriencik said. "None, whatsoever. Before the trade, he was going to be our No. 2 starter."
Yankees doctor Chris Ahmad said on a conference call that the Yankees don't believe Pineda will need an incision in his surgery, but that it will still take 12 months for him to recover and at that time he can be a "capable player," if all goes well. Of course, the Yankees traded for someone they believed was much more than a "capable player." Still, there is some optimism.
"His rotator cuff is not injured," Ahmad said. "It looks very very good. This is isolated to his labrum. That's why we feel more optimistic about him having a good result."
Dr. David Altchek will perform the surgery.
Pineda, 23, was an All-Star as a rookie last season and finished fifth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He finished the season 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA, averaging just more than a strikeout an inning with 173 in 171 innings. Pineda threw in the high-90s, while also throwing a good slider and a changeup (that wasn't as good). Hitters hit just .211/.279/.342 against him a year ago.
This spring, however, he didn't appear to have the same velocity. In six appearances this spring, he pitched 19 innings and had an ERA of 5.00. He struck out 18 and walked 10, but it was his lack of velocity that raised eyebrows. He started the season on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as shoulder tendonitis.
It should be noted that while many will blast the Yankees or declare the Mariners the instant "winner" in the big trade, but don't forget Jose Campos. The other pitcher sent to New York, the 19-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four starts at low-Class A Charleston (S.C.).