It turns out Michael Pineda’s 10-game suspension might just indirectly keep him sidelined for a little longer. 

The New York Yankees big right-hander, who was suspended last week after using pine tar in a start against the Boston Red Sox, went through a simulated game to stay on throwing schedule Tuesday, but it resulted in a tight lat after just one inning.     

Manager Joe Girardi, via the New York Daily News‘ Mark Feinsand, doesn’t sound confident about Pineda making his return on time: 

New York Post reporter Joel Sherman later confirmed the bad news:’s Bryan Hoch added specifics:

After missing the last two seasons with various injuries, the 25-year-old had begun to show why the Yanks traded prized prospect Jesus Montero for him a couple of years back. Through 19.2 innings, he had compiled a 1.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and owned a sparkling 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

But the pine tar controversy quickly marred that fast start, and now this injury threatens to derail his campaign even further. 

Should Pineda be forced to miss his start against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, David Phelps, who has been used strictly in relief this season, will likely take the bump.

As Girardi noted, via The Record‘s Jeff Roberts, Phelps’ pitch count will be limited: 

Fortunately for the Yankees, who sit atop the AL East, timely hitting and a lights-out bullpen has helped quell the problems of the starting rotation and will likely continue to do so. 

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