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Michael Pineda makes his case for a rotation spot

Mar 8, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

Michael Pineda AP AP

Dogged by shoulder issues, Michael Pineda has yet to throw a regular season pitch for the Yankees since being acquired from the Mariners two offseasons ago, but he showed a glimpse of his old form last night.

Making his spring debut, Pineda tossed two scoreless innings in a Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. Topping out at 93 mph with his fastball, he allowed one hit and struck out four while throwing 21 out of 27 pitches for strikes. His slider drew raves from catcher Brian McCann and induced a strikeout from Miguel Cabrera on a check-swing.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t want to get carried away with just one outing, but he told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that he was encouraged with what he saw.

“We like what we saw,” Girardi said. “I don’t want to make too much of it, but I’ve said all along he looks different what we’ve seen this spring compared to a couple springs ago. He’s cleaned up his mechanics a lot. This is a good step.”

Pineda is currently competing with David Phelps and Adam Warren for the fifth spot in the rotation, but it might not be much of a battle if last night is a sign of things to come. It would be a huge boost to the Yankees if he’s finally healthy.

Pineda, 25, posted a 3.74 ERA and 173/55 K/BB ratio over 171 innings as a rookie in 2011.

  1. cackalackyank - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    It certainly seemed like a real good outing. I guess it will be interesting to see how fast they send him out there again, though. Also can’t help but wonder how that repaired shoulder will hold up. No arguing with the fact that he could be a huge plus if he continues on the path he showed in 2011, and in these 2 spring training innings.

  2. uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    With a little bit of luck yesterdays outing by Pineda was just a very short preview of what the Yankees will be getting from Pineda over the next few weeks and months. Because of his injury in 2012 the Yankees just need to take it slow and easy with him right now there is no rush. Let the velocity come back over time and the Yankees could be looking at a starting rotation that will be the envy of most of the other MLB teams.

    Regardless of what non Yankees fans would have us believe the rotation for 2014 is starting to shape up great with: CC / Kuroda / Tanaka / Nova and Pineda. Then come 2015 with CC / Tanaka / Nova / Pineda and Banuelos. With the exception of CC the oldest of the four in 2015 will be Nova at just 28 years old. The future of the Yankees starting rotation looks very, very bright.

    Of course there are and will be questions until the season gets going and the pitchers face ML batters not just players trying to make a team. But I still very much like what I’ve seen so far and at least to this Yankees fan the future looks bright for the starting rotation.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      I admit it – things have changed since I last discussed the Yankee rotation. Pineda was not a factor then. Now he appears to be. How bright is the future of that rotation? Well it could be as good as you say. The trouble with your summation is that it is optimistic rather than realistic. extreme optimism? not really. but optimism nonetheless

      Realistically? Pineda is young and has limited big league experience. How will he react to getting knocked around in that small park he’ll be pitching in? As for his arm, well shoulders tend to be troublesome beasts after surgery. I know. I’ve had shoulder surgery and its not the same arm it was before I injured it. I find it extremely unlikely that Pineda’s will be any better given that he makes his living by stressing that repair. I’d love to be wrong. he was electrifying when he was a Mariner. I would like to see more of that pitcher

      The rest of the rotation? They will also have to cope with their home park’s cozy confines and at least one other on that rotation will have to cope with it for the first time – Tanaka. I wonder how that will go

      So, we’ll see. They might be as good as you say and your team will contend. They still have realistic chances of having league worst infield defence, low HR totals, lots of injuries due to age and pre-existing issues, and getting out slugged in their own park.

      • pisano - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        @ ignorance…..You couldn’t have picked a better name for yourself, but in reality you should have left “themanytoolsof” out of your name, and the remaining would have been a good description.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        I fail to see why people treat each other differently on the internet. I know its anonymous and people feel free to act on their suppressed impulses, but surely they see that this reflects poorly on them? I’d think knowing that you are a repressed jerk would be enough limit insulting some stranger over essentially nothing

        Also I’ve noticed a trend with hardballtalk names. The aggrandizing ones seem to be associated with jerks. The descriptive ones seem to be associated with serious fans. The self depreciating or humorous ones tend to be associated with people who enjoy a laugh and aren’t here to mock anyone.

        “Pisano” is it? not mine and thank goodness for that

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        speaking of jerks……

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        i·ro·ny1
        ˈīrənē,ˈiərnē/
        noun
        1.
        the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite.
        ““The irony of a crap throwing monkey like dirtyharry calling someone else a jerk”

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Pineda is the X factor for the Yanks season, we get him going I love the rotation for this year and many years after.

  4. lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Still a chance for the Yankees to win that trade after all.

  5. liddogg33 - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Any chance cashman would consider taking montero back for Pineda??? At first I thought the mariners got the better of the deal but it is PAINFULLY OBVIOUS Who the little brother was in this deal!! Yuk!!! Chubby won’t even make the mariners roster!!!

  6. bronxbomber213 - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Based off the status of both involved looks like the Yankees may emerge winners in the montero deal after all

  7. lazlosother - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    I don’t think either team saw this as a “win lose” trade. NY needed pitching, Seattle needed hitting. Both players were promising, unproven and inexpensive. Neither has worked out so far. It happens.

    I’m a NY fan and I hope Pineda works out. But it wouldn’t bother me if Montero hit 30 dingers.

    As it stands now neither team gained or lost anything of value. There are no winners or losers.

  8. foxmatthew2013 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    Where are all the DOOM guys……..bitches

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