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Pineda makes Yankees rotation

TAMPA — RHP Michael Pineda is set to return to the majors as part of the Yankees rotation.

Manager Joe Girardi announced Tuesday that Pineda will be the team's fifth starter.

Pineda, who missed the past two seasons after right shoulder surgery, beat out RHPs David Phelps and Adam Warren and LHP Vidal Nuno.

"I feel so happy," Pineda said. "When I come to camp, I come here for working hard and pitching good games."

Pineda admitted that were times he was down during his two years on the disabled list. He'd been an All-Star as a rookie in 2011, then spent his time trying to work back toward the big leagues.

"It's hard when you have an injury," Pineda said. "I love pitching, and I love the team. When I was sad, somebody would tell me, 'Don't worry, you'll be okay. Just keep working hard every day. You're coming back.' "

Pineda, 25, has given up three runs and struck out 16 over 15 innings in four games. He'll make his first regular-season start April 5 against Toronto.

"He threw extremely well," Girardi said. "It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved each outing. At times, he was dominant."

A-ROD SAGA: Lawyers for suspended 3B Alex Rodriguez want to keep a lid on potential video of him being questioned in his lawsuit against a Yankees team doctor. A judge indicated Rodriguez's team might have valid concerns about sensitive medical queries becoming fodder for online sensation.

Jays: Happ rocked

BRADENTON — LHP J.A. Happ did not help his bid to claim a job in the Blue Jays rotation.

Happ faced 20 batters in three-plus innings and allowed seven runs and 12 hits in a 22-5 loss to the Pirates.

"I was throwing a lot of strikes on a tough-conditions day," Happ said. "They were putting the ball in play. I feel good about throwing the ball in the zone, but this is one start that I've just got to try to get over."

With a 20.57 ERA after five outings, Happ might not beat out RHP Dustin McGowan for the final rotation spot. Happ, however, said he came to camp believing the job was his and doesn't believe it's in jeopardy.

"I don't know who's all saying things have changed," he said. "I guess I'm not part of those conversations. I haven't had one with anybody who's telling me things are changing. It's you (media) guys saying that. I take positives and move forward, and I plan on getting better."

Happ has been bothered by a sore back, but he said he feels fine. Would he be willing to pitch in relief?

"I'm not thinking about that," he said. "I'll answer that question if one of the bosses decides he needs to ask me that."

Phils: Infield battle

CLEARWATER — The Phillies released INF Ronny Cedeno, who appeared to be the leading candidate to take INF Freddy Galvis' spot on the roster while he recovers from MRSA.

"We're still looking inside and outside the organization as far as filling that role," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told mlb.com. "But we have candidates. We have guys internally and there are some guys we're looking at outside the organization as well."

Former Ray Reid Brignac remains in camp, along with Cesar Hernandez. INF Kevin Frandsen opted for free agency after the Phillies outrighted him Sunday.

. FAST FACTS

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: vs. Yankees, 1:05

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: vs. Tigers, 1:05

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Today: at Jays, 1:05, Dunedin

Pineda makes Yankees rotation 03/25/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:41pm]
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