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Yankees' Michael Pineda charged with DUI in Tampa

Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda winds up in

Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda winds up in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa, Fla. (March 30, 2012) Credit: AP

CHICAGO -- Injured Yankees righthander Michael Pineda was arrested on a DUI charge early Monday morning in Tampa after an officer observed him "weaving from side to side" and driving his SUV erratically.

Pineda, 23, was pulled over a short distance from the Yankees' minor-league complex, where he has been rehabbing his surgically repaired pitching shoulder. He was arrested at 3:11 a.m., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

In his report, the arresting officer described Pineda's eyes as "bloodshot, watery and glassy."

The officer also said that while talking to Pineda, "I could smell a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath and his speech was slurred."

Pineda registered a .128 and .125 in separate blood-alcohol level tests. The legal limit in Florida is .08. He was booked at 5:35 a.m. and released on a $500 bond at 11:20 a.m., according to police records. The officer wrote the arrest and booking occurred "without incident."

General manager Brian Cashman, who acquired Pineda in January in a blockbuster deal that sent top prospect Jesus Montero to the Mariners, declined to comment Monday afternoon. Joe Girardi, speaking before Monday night's game here, also declined to comment.

The incident, in some ways, can be seen as yet another setback in the Yankees' commitment to getting under the $189-million payroll threshold that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has mandated by 2014.

During the spring, Steinbrenner said young pitchers such as Pineda, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes would "play a big part" in allowing Cashman to get to $189 million. Quality performance from some of the young arms, who include minor-leaguers Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, would keep the Yankees from having to spend big on the free-agent pitching market.

Nova and Hughes have been inconsistent. Pineda, who was overweight when he came to camp in February, got hurt at the end of spring training and had surgery in early May.

"We all make mistakes, we're all human," said Joba Chamberlain, who was arrested on a DUI charge in October 2008. "Just man up, 'fess up, move on and go. That's really all you can do. Learn from it."

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