Pineda wins job as Yankees’ fifth starter

TAMPA, Fla. — Michael Pineda is set to return to the majors — as part of the New York Yankees’ rotation.

Manager Joe Girardi announced Tuesday that Pineda will be the team’s fifth starter.

Pineda, who missed the past two seasons after right shoulder surgery, beat out David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno.

“I feel so happy,” Pineda said. “When I come to camp, I come here for working hard and pitching good games.”

Pineda admitted that were times he was sad during his two years on the disabled list. He’d been an All-Star as a rookie in 2011, then spent his time trying to work back toward the big leagues.

“It’s hard when you have an injury,” Pineda said. “I love pitching, and I love the team. When I was sad, somebody would tell me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be OK. Just keep working hard every day. You’re coming back.’”

The 25-year-old righty has given up three runs and struck out 16 over 15 innings in four games. He’ll make his first regular season start April 5 against Toronto.

“He threw extremely well,” Girardi said. “It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved each outing. At times, he was dominant.”

Phelps and Warren are both expected to work out of the bullpen. Nuno also remains in the mix for a relief spot.

Girardi said Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka will his major league debut April 4 at Toronto. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova are to start the opening series at Houston next week.

“Nothing too special,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I’m just going to prepare for that day. I’m not thinking too much (about it), but as we get closer to the game, I’m sure excitement will come along.”

Jacoby Ellsbury, sidelined the past 1½ weeks by right calf tightness, resumed playing and went 1 for 4 with two walks as the designated hitter in a minor league intrasquad game. He had an RBI single and struck out once.

“Everything felt good,” Ellsbury said. “I’m very pleased. Today was the first step in the sense of just playing in a game. I’ve been running, sprinting, doing all that stuff.”

Ellsbury expects to be ready for Tuesday’s opener.

“I feel like I just could hop right in there and play right now,” Ellsbury said.

Girardi said he feels pretty good about Ellsbury being able to play in the opener, but added that can’t be absolutely sure yet.

Ellsbury will play again in a minor league game Wednesday and could start in the outfield.

More in Sports

M’s bolster bullpen, add Nicasio, two others

Seattle adds Juan Nicasio in free agency and trades for Shawn Armstrong and Anthony Misiewicz.

Thiel: Since his arrival, Brown has solidified Hawks’ O-line

Seattle’s O-line has gone from disaster to competent in just a few short weeks, thanks to their new LT.

Seahawks ready Wilhoite to start at MLB for Wagner

The vet is at the center of Seattle’s preparation to stop Rams RB Todd Gurley in a pivotal NFC West matchup.

Five high schools leaving the Cascade Conference

They will form a new league — the North Sound Conference — for the 2018-19 school year

Sutter accepts invite to play in CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Silvertips goalie Carter Hart named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the third straight week.

Wednesday’s prep results

Boys Basketball Non-conference Eastside Prep 56, Darrington 48 Boys Wrestling Northwest Conference… Continue reading

Wednesday’s prep stars of the night

Shelby Lund, G, Stanwood Lund, a sophomore, scored a game-high 24 points… Continue reading

Tough year turns ‘Lucky’ for Idaho angler

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald Gary March of Worley, Idaho, was… Continue reading

Wayne Kruse’s Pick of the Week: Winter crab

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald Just three weekends remain in the… Continue reading

Most Read