Pineda's rehab from TJ surgery hits snag

August 26th, 2018
Brian Blanco

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander , who was on track to be a September callup after last year's Tommy John surgery, returned from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday after he felt discomfort in his right knee while throwing his latest bullpen session and will be checked out by Twins doctors.

Pineda had made four rehab appearances (three starts) between the Gulf Coast League Twins, Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Triple-A Rochester, posting a 1.50 ERA with nine strikeouts and three walks in 12 innings. He was scheduled to start again on Sunday with Rochester but returned to the Twin Cities instead.

"I'd been throwing really good, and everything had been going really good, but in my last bullpen, I felt some pinching in my knee," Pineda said on Sunday. "I don't feel 100 percent to be pitching today, because I was supposed to start today in Syracuse."

Pineda was clearly frustrated by the injury, as he was scheduled to start once more on Friday with Rochester before being a September callup. He's hopeful it's a minor setback and that he will be able to pitch with the Twins this season.

"Everything is good and my arm feels great, but right now, I'm frustrated with my knee, because I was almost ready to play here," Pineda said. "I was so excited about it, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully, nothing serious, because I want to pitch."

Pineda, 29, was signed to a two-year, $10-million deal in the offseason after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July while with the Yankees. The Twins would like to see him pitch down the stretch, but Twins manager Paul Molitor said Pineda's long-term health is most important.

"It puts things on hold for now," Molitor said. "We don't want to push him. We've got to make sure he's healthy."