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Sunday, May 12, 2013 - Page updated at 06:00 p.m.

Pineda finds practice not all it's cracked up to be

By Larry Stone
Seattle Times staff reporter

The good news for ex-Mariner Michael Pineda is that his recovery from shoulder surgery seems to be going well. He is scheduled to pitch Monday in an extended spring game in Tampa, Fla.

But Pineda, dealt to the Yankees in the deal that brought Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners, continues to have bad luck.

The New York Post reported that Pineda, after working out Wednesday at the Yankees' minor-league complex, discovered that his SUV had a smashed window on the passenger side from a batting-practice home run.

"The ball is still in the car," Pineda said.

Pineda, who was out all season in 2012 after the spring-training arm injury, hit 95 mph in his last session. He told the Post his shoulder feels great.

"I don't think I will be in (extended spring) long because I'm feeling good, working hard," he said.

Hundley doesn't pump up teammate Grandal

Padres catcher Nick Hundley — a graduate of Lake Washington High School in Kirkland — had some barbed comments regarding teammate Yasmani Grandal.

You might recall that the switch-hitting Grandal established himself as the Padres' catcher of the future last year — supplanting the struggling Hundley — by putting up a .297 average with eight homers in 60 games last year.

But then Grandal failed a drug test at the end of the season, and was suspended 50 games. Now Grandal is due to come off his suspension in three weeks, and push Hundley for playing time. Hundley is not impressed,. to say the least.

"You want to talk about a guy who is unproven and had a good couple months on steroids, go ahead, I've got a job to do," he told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

After hitting just .157 last year and finding himself back in the minors, Hundley has his average back up to .270 this season. Padres manager Bud Black said of Hundley and Grandal, "They'll both have jobs."

Notes and quotes

• A couple of Tampa Bay pitchers had a lighthearted take on a very serious issue: protecting pitchers from line drives. Cy Young winner David Price related this tidbit from his teammate, Matt Moore, via the Tampa Bay Times:

"What Moore was talking about the other day on the bench is they have a sensor in the ball. And if it comes close to other sensor in the pitcher's hat, the ball just blows up. That was Matt's great idea. I kinda like it."

My take: Pitchers would have to wear goggles to protect their eyes from exploding ball parts.

• With Roy Halladay undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the Phillies are going to face a tough question at the end of the season.

Halladay, who turns 36 next week, has a vesting option for 2014, but the injury ensures he won't pitch enough for it to kick in. So Halladay will be a free agent at the end of the year.

The issue then becomes whether the Phillies will be interested in bringing back Halladay. Also, whether Halladay would want to return to Philadelphia, which appears to be on a downturn.

The answer could hinge both on the Phillies' performance this season, and whether Halladay is able to return. He said doctors told him they could "turn the clock back two or three years" with the operation.

• A scary thought for the rest of the NL Central: Not only did the Cardinals have the best record in the majors, they've done it against top-notch competition.

Throwing out recent games against the lowly Cubs, their previous opponents were a combined 14 games over .500 as weekend play began.

Of course, it won't matter whom they play as long as the Cardinals maintain their incredible .331 average with men in scoring position (compared to .234 in other situations).

• Give the Brewers credit for having the foresight to wrap up a three-year, $24 million contract extension for outfielder Carlos Gomez in spring training.

That raised some eyebrows, considering Gomez's inconsistent play over the years. But now that he's leading the majors in batting average and playing like a five-tool star, they're looking like geniuses.

• At midweek, the Red Sox were leading the American League in stolen bases. If that should hold up, it would be their first AL team steals title since 1935. Since then, they've finished last 21 times.

• Mets manager Terry Collins called Matt Harvey's one-hitter "the best game I've seen" — better than Johan Santana's no-hitter.

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