8/6/2014 11:20 P.M. ET
Pineda may be nearing return to Yanks' rotation
Right-hander slated for rehab start on Friday with an increased pitch count
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Michael Pineda is scheduled to make his next rehab start on Friday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and given the Yankees' pitching situation, it is possible that he could be hurried to the big leagues after that.
Pineda worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the RailRiders on Sunday, his first game action since being placed on the disabled list on May 6 with a right shoulder muscle injury.
The Yankees have not named their starter for Friday against the Indians, a turn that is up for grabs now that David Phelps is on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed that Pineda will not be a candidate for that start, as Pineda only tossed 58 pitches in his first rehab start against Syracuse.
David Huff, Esmil Rogers and Chase Whitley are among the candidates to make Friday's start, but Girardi said that he might not announce a starter until after Thursday's game, depending on what is needed out of the bullpen in the final two games of the series against the Tigers.
"We're just going to have to wait to see what happens these next couple of days," Girardi said.
Pineda is expected to raise his pitch count by 15 to 20 pitches on Friday against Columbus, which could set him up to start and give the Yankees about 90 pitches on Aug. 14 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
"He's probably available to go somewhere between 75 and 80, then we'll see where we're at," Girardi said. "I said we wanted to get him to 90 [before activating him in the Majors], but with the circumstances that we're in, you never know."
Ryan, Yanks pitch in to sell programs, tickets
NEW YORK -- Part of a utility man's job is being prepared for whatever assignment might come next, and for Brendan Ryan, that was helping to hawk programs and yearbooks in the Great Hall at Yankee Stadium.
Ryan was one of several Yankees players meeting and greeting fans before Wednesday's game against the Tigers. Ryan took his post on the first-base side of the ballpark with some zest, yelling out, "Programs! Yearbooks here!"
"It's fun," Ryan said. "I don't get to come out on the concourses much. Something different."
Yankees pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and David Phelps were stationed behind the counters at the Stadium's Advance Ticket windows, while pitchers Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren and Chase Whitley helped work the registers at the Yankees Team Store behind home plate.
"It was fun; it was easy," Ryan said. "I wanted to mingle more with the fans, have some more back-and-forth. Next time, maybe I can have a mustache and a cone, something like that -- a little accent. Learn, we'll adjust and do something different next time."
• Dellin Betances had worked in three of the Yankees' last four games, including a pair of outings in which he recorded three outs, so Girardi said that he did not expect to have the right-hander available on Wednesday.
Girardi removed Betances after 18 pitches on Tuesday against the Tigers, and the Yankees are being mindful of Betances' climbing innings total (67 2/3 in 50 games entering play on Wednesday).
"I don't think that we've overworked him, but I still have to pay attention to what we do," Girardi said. "That's why I took him out when I did."
• On this date in 1979, Bobby Murcer delivered a eulogy at Thurman Munson's funeral in Canton, Ohio, then he hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning and a two-run single in the ninth, driving in all five Yankees runs in an emotional 5-4 win over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.