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Pineda, Injured Arm Out of a Sling, Visits the Yankees on Astini News

Michael Pineda was smiling during Yankees batting practice Tuesday, his right arm by his side instead of in a sling. It was about the best news possible for a player who has produced bad news since joining the Yankees in the off-season.

Pineda, the 23-year-old right-handed pitcher whom the Yankees acquired in a packaged deal that included top prospect Jesus Montero, is out for the season after having surgery May 1 on a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He visited New York to meet with team doctors before returning to Tampa, Fla., where he has been rehabilitating.

"I'm feeling better right now," Pineda said. "Working my exercise, physical therapy every day."

Pineda has not yet thrown and does not anticipate doing so until September. He is on schedule to return to the Yankees for spring training next season, a timetable that Pineda said he believed was still in place.

"The doctor say everything's great right now, continue as planned," Pineda said.

Pineda did not appear noticeably out of shape and sounded in good spirits, and he said he had been watching the Yankees games from Tampa. The Yankees have managed to thrive without Pineda, who was supposed to be a critical part of the rotation.

The Yankees entered Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Braves with a 10-game winning streak that was anchored by the pitching staff.

Manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that it was a "long process" for Pineda, and is not exactly certain what Pineda is doing in his rehabilitation.

Considering Pineda will not be a factor for the Yankees anytime soon, Girardi does not need to worry.

"It's good to see him not in a sling and walking around freely," Girardi said. "He'll go back to Tampa and just continue his rehab."

Swisher Back in Right Nick Swisher returned to the Yankees' lineup after missing two games with a bruised quadriceps. Swisher had hoped to play on Monday but did not yet feel right after trying to swing a bat. He tried again on Tuesday and felt strong enough to play.

"I don't want to mess with that because I feel like I have a good stroke going right now," said Swisher, who was batting .262 with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in. "I wanted to make sure I could do that."

Swisher said there were no restrictions in his game and that, despite still having some pain, the injury could not be exacerbated by playing.

Swisher, who sustained the injury on a play at the plate Saturday, said he would slide into home again if needed. But he joked that he would have felt less pain had he just tried to run over the catcher.

Girardi had considered using Swisher as the designated hitter Tuesday, but felt he was ready to start in right field.

"If he didn't feel like he could run 100 percent or he was concerned about that, I possibly would have D.H.'ed him," Girardi said. "But there are some other guys I felt who could use it more, especially with the day game coming tomorrow."

Relievers on the Mend Reliever David Aardsma, who is on the 60-day disabled list while recovering from Tommy John surgery, started a rehabilitation assignment Monday with a scoreless inning in the Class A Gulf Coast League. He had one walk and two strikeouts.

Girardi did not have a time frame for Aardsma's return, but Aardsma wrote on his Twitter page that his next outing would be Saturday.

Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain, who sustained an open dislocation of his ankle in March, are two relievers who could potentially bolster the bullpen later this season.

"Our bullpen has been great, and it's great to have the depth," Girardi said. "You don't want to think someone else is going to have a freak injury, but with the way it went this year, you never know. Having some power arms possibly coming back would be good."

10 and Counting The Yankees' 10-game winning streak is the longest in baseball this season. If the Yankees make it 11 straight wins on Tuesday, it would match their longest streak in 50 years. They also had 11-game winning streaks in 1964 and 1985. The franchise's longest winning streak was 19  in 1947.

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