Michael Pineda close to returning to Yankees' rotation

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch during a game Michael Pineda delivers a pitch during a game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Aug. 3, 2014. Photo Credit: The Scranton Times-Tribune / Butch Comegys

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Michael Pineda has declared himself ready for a return to the rotation.

The Yankees have not yet made their decision, though Wednesday in Baltimore remains a possibility for the righthander's first start since April 23.

"He looks good,'' general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's off the rehab radar and on the should-he-have-another-start or join-us [radar].''

Pineda threw 72 pitches in his most recent rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The goal is to get him up to 90 pitches in his next start, with the Yankees weighing whether to have that take place in the minors or in the heat of a playoff race against a team they're chasing.

All indications are that the muscle injury in Pineda's right shoulder is behind him. "He was finishing his pitches, and you don't finish your pitches if you're feeling something,'' Cashman said. "He was getting full extension. You would not finish off and extend like he was doing if he was feeling anything.''

Pineda, 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA in four starts before getting hurt, said he hasn't felt the injury in some time. "Everything is good, everything is the same ,'' he said Saturday. "My off-speed pitches are there, my velocity is good. Everything is good, so I'm feeling good. I'm happy with that.''

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If Pineda doesn't get the start, it likely will go to Esmil Rogers, who allowed one run and four hits in five innings in Friday night's victory over the Indians.

McCann to seven-day DL

Brian McCann, who left Friday night's game with what the Yankees termed a "minor concussion,'' was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list before Saturday's game. Austin Romine was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot.

McCann took a foul ball off the mask in the third inning Friday and was removed in the sixth after telling Joe Girardi he didn't feel "quite right.'' Said Girardi, "It's not what you want, but it's what we felt was necessary to protect him and to make sure he was going to be OK.''

Teixeira slowly improving

Mark Teixeira, who missed a third straight game after suffering a deep cut on his left pinkie while sliding home Wednesday night, said attempting to swing a bat was "very painful'' Friday. But he took more swings Saturday and experienced slightly better results. "He felt better,'' Girardi said. "It's possible [Sunday] he's a player. We'll see.''

Cashman not satisfied

While most in baseball have praised the Yankees for staying in the playoff race, Cashman was decidedly unenthusiastic about his team's standing. "This team was built to be a playoff-contending team," he said. "We want to be not where we're at, we want to be ahead of where we're at.''

As for the notion that the club has overachieved in the face of injuries, Cashman shrugged. "Fans don't care about that stuff. Owners who put the money down don't care about that stuff,'' he said. "All they care about is, obviously, getting in the playoffs. That's the whole reason you play the game.''

Swisher: You go, Gardy

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Former Yankee Nick Swisher, struggling in his second season with the Indians, has been impressed with Brett Gardner and the power surge that has resulted in a career-best 15 homers. "He's killing it, man,'' Swisher said. "Signing that contract was probably the best thing to ever happen to him. He can relax now . . . He knows now that when he gets in those fastball counts, he has the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark. I'm so stoked for him.''

With Will Sammon

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