"It's only because of innings," Girardi said. "This is a guy that has not thrown a lot of innings since 2011. He probably threw [76 1/3] last year; 2011 he threw 171. With these days off, we feel like we can do that without overtaxing the other pitchers."
The Yankees have Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren and CC Sabathia as their scheduled starters in this three-game series against the Angels.
Following an off-day on Monday, Masahiro Tanaka and Eovaldi will get starting nods in a two-game series against the Nationals that leads into another off-day.
Pineda has been one of the Yanks' best starters this season, going 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA. He has struck out 76 with only seven walks.
Yet the Yanks have not forgotten his injury issues, which included surgery on his pitching shoulder in May 2012. Girardi said that a 220-inning regular-season workload is out of the question.
"I just know that it's a long season," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We don't want to make it any longer by forgetting that you want to try to protect people and take care of people, not run them into the ground. He's been spectacular for us."
Pineda will stay sharp by throwing side sessions during the layoff, and Girardi suggested that the Yankees might try to tinker with Pineda's schedule at a later point in the regular season as well.
"He's on pace to throw 220 innings. That's a big stretch for a guy that just hasn't done it," Girardi said. "We have a big break at the All-Star break, and you can manipulate some things there. My hope is we don't have to do it before then. Physically, he feels great."
Cashman noted that with right-hander Ivan Nova on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery, it is possible the Yankees could experiment with a six-man rotation later in the season.
Nova is scheduled to make his first Minor League rehab start on Monday for Class A Advanced Tampa against Jupiter, then could advance to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"We're just trying to find ways to manage it properly so everyone keeps that full tank of gas and doesn't have fatigue set in too easily, because once fatigue sets in, injuries can happen," Cashman said.