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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yankees Injury Update: Michael Pineda, Kelly Johnson

By on 7/31/2014 06:30:00 AM

The New York Yankees entered Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers with a 55-51 record, just four and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Yankees are in the thick of the division race despite being in the middle of the pack in runs scored and ERA. The good news is that two key components to the team, pitcher Michael Pineda and third baseman Kelly Johnson, should be ready to return in the next couple of weeks.

As reported by Bryan Hoch of, Pineda last pitched on April 23 when he was ejected against the Boston Red Sox for having pine tar on his neck. But look for Pineda to return to the mound for one of the Yankees' farm teams on Sunday. Manager Joe Girardi is expecting Pineda to through four innings or around 60 to 65 pitches..

Pineda, who has been on the disabled list with a strained muscle behind the right shoulder, threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday.  The Yankees are estimating that Pineda will need three rehab starts to get his pitch count up to around 90, before being ready to return.

As for Johnson, who was placed on the disabled list July 23 with a strained left groin, he is expected to be activated after the minimum 15 days on the disabled list.  It's possible he'll be sent on a Minor League rehab assignment, but he should be ready to return to the Yankees by the middle of August.  Don't be surprised to see Johnson get more playing time at second base during the stretch run.

Johnson, in his ninth Major League season, is batting .219 with six home runs and 22 RBI this season. The veteran has played for the Braves, Blue Jays, Rays and Yankees and has a career batting average of .251 with 130 home runs and 464 RBI.

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