Yankees' Pineda to start season on DL

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New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda will begin the season on the disabled list after tests showed inflammation in a shoulder tendon, but no structural damage.

The injury to Pineda helped the Yankees settle their rotation, at least to begin the season. C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia will begin as New York’s starters.

Pineda underwent treatment, including icing, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa after an MRI exam on Saturday. The right-hander doesn’t know when he’ll resume playing catch.

“I’m feeling a little better,” Pineda said. “A little sore. I’m a little sad. I’ll be OK.”

Pineda experienced soreness in the back of his right shoulder during the Yankees’ 13-9 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. He allowed six runs and seven hits in 2⅔ innings, and struggled with his fastball velocity again, averaging around 91 mph.

“I’m pitching this year,” Pineda said. “I’m coming back strong.”

Manager Joe Girardi said he was “very relieved because the rest of the MRI came out good.”

“You always worry about rotators and labrums and that kind of thing. The rest of his shoulder looked really good. He just had a little tendinitis,” he said.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a winter trade for catcher Jesus Montero, Pineda struck out 18 and walked 10 in 19 spring innings. The All-Star had a 5.58 ERA.

“We’ll be conservative and make sure when he goes back out, he feels good,” Girardi said. “That would be the smart thing to do.”

NATIONALS: In Viera, Fla., Stephen Strasburg pitched four innings against St. Louis in his tuneup to start on Opening Day.

Strasburg allowed three runs, two of them earned, all in the second inning. He gave up five hits overall, striking out three and walking one.

Strasburg finished spring training with a 1-4 record. He’ll start on April 5 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

TWINS: Optioned backup catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester, ensuring that Minnesota will carry two catchers on the roster to start the season.

There was some talk in spring training about the Twins carrying three catchers to try reducing the workload on Joe Mauer.


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