Skip to content

Comeback complete: Michael Pineda made the Yankees’ rotation

Mar 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

pineda getty Getty Images

Michael Pineda missed each of the past two seasons recovering from shoulder surgery and has yet to throw a regular season pitch for the Yankees after they acquired him from the Mariners for Jesus Montero in January of 2012, but that’s about to change.

Pineda is officially Joe Girardi’s choice for the fifth spot in the Yankees’ rotation, convincing the manager he was ready by throwing 15 innings with a 1.20 ERA and 16/1 K/BB ratio this spring.

Prior to blowing out his shoulder Pineda looked like one of the most promising young pitchers in baseball, making the All-Star team as a 22-year-old rookie in 2011 on the way to throwing 171 innings with a 3.74 ERA and 173/55 K/BB ratio for Seattle.

He’s regularly been clocked in the low-90s during spring training. That can’t compare to his average fastball of 94.7 miles per hour in 2011, but it’s certainly enough to get big-league hitters out and expecting that same pitcher to show up now would obviously be wishful thinking anyway. Pineda is still only 25 years old and, if healthy, he could have a big impact for the Yankees.

(Also of note: Montero has been terrible for the Mariners and could be close to playing–and eating–his way out of their plans. He was sent to Triple-A last week.)

  1. bigharold - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Cool! With Phelps in the pen the Yankees also have a reliable back up in the event that things go awry.

    So it’s official, the Yankees got the better of the deal with the Mariners?

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      For now, it is very official.

    • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Still tryin’ to make up for the Buhner deal.

      • 7mantel - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Are you Frank Costanza ?

      • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:36 PM


    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      The Yankees had already won the Jose Campos trade before Pineda came back. Montero produced negative WAR for Seattle, and Noesi…well, he was Noesi. Campos remains a decent prospect, which is better than Montero or Noesi can say. Throw in a resurgent Pineda and you can out this transaction up there with the Swisher trade for Cashman’s best.

      • bluemoonking - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        I have a 5 year old grand son that could get the best of Jack (douche bag) Z.

  2. jolink653 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Great to see Pineda make it. Looks like the brass took the right approach last season and didn’t rush him back to pitch. Hopefully he can stay healthy and be a big part of the rotation. Even better now that Phelps is in the bullpen because he’ll be a really reliable long reliever and can slide into the rotation to spot start or if anyone gets injured

  3. uyf1950 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    There really was no wrong or bad choice between Pineda and Phelps. This is just one of those cases where both guys pitched very well but unfortunately one of them was going to be disappointed with the final announcement.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      Well, they both made the team and are now regular season members of the NEW YORK YANKEES. That takes some of the sting off it. Phelps may be disappointed not getting a rotation spot, but hey, Whitey Ford pitched a lot in relief under Stengel, but made the HOF anyway.

  4. bigguy54 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Congrats Yankee Fans you won the trade. This after acting like a bunch of 2 year olds whining about Seattle selling you injured goods. Because he is healthy now does not mean he will last all year. I would hope your trainers keep him on a pitch limit, not because I want him to have success for NY, but he is a good kid and I don’t wish injury on anyone, well except the guy who fits perfect in your org, AFraud. Lastly I would nit be too proud beating Z in a trade, that is a long line you need to get into.

    • American of African Descent - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      Those grapes . . . they are so sour . . .

    • skerney - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      Trainers don’t set pitch counts. Are you out of your mind?

    • anxovies - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      I think the whining stopped last year when Montero showed up fat and lazy and the Mariners found out he couldn’t hit or catch.

  5. uyf1950 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    I’m liking the Yankees starting rotation and bullpen better and better with each passing day. CC, Kuroda, Nova, Tanaka and now Pineda and the bullpen with in no particular order: Robertson, Kelley, Thornton, Phelps, Warren, Betances and one from the group of: Claiborne, Daley, Nuno or Greene or possibly Cabral. The Yankees pitching staff looks very good at this point.

    I fully expect some non Yankees fans to try and rain on my parade but it ain’t gonna work. The above is a very solid pitching staff.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      Nova (27), Tanaka (25) and now Pineda (25)

      Added some numbers for you. I feel like Mouse, in The Matrix, when they are getting ready to watch Neo jump the buildings for the first time. What if this works out? Could the Yanks have a young rotation for years to come? And if I’m feeling really optimistic, Banuelos hit 95 the other day…

      • uyf1950 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Absolutely they can. And there are some very interesting young arms in the minors that the Yankees drafted last year. This could be the beginning of something really big and exciting for the next several years, my friend.

      • chip56 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Add in the possibility of having three big, young kids in the back of the bullpen in Danny Burawa, Jose Ramirez and Dellin Betances

    • anxovies - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Now if we can just draft some high school kid from the Midwest, maybe from some small town on Oklahoma, who can hit the ball a mile and run like a deer…

      • gloccamorra - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Or a son of an immigrant, playing the PCL in San Francisco, or a hard-nosed catcher from St. Louis who doesn’t look like any kind of ballplayer, but hits in the clutch. Those guys appear once every few generations, though. Once every few generations…

      • autmorsautlibertas - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        I’d settle for a shortstop of limited defensive range from the Midwest who hits in the clutch.

  6. mikhelb - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Good to see the kid winning a spot in the rotation, Phelps is so good starting and in relief that it worked against him to be versatile but I think he can help the Yankees more coming from the bullpen twice a week (or more) than starting games every 5 days.

    As for Montero I think he still can be as good as projected but playing in Seattle is not for everybody. Adrián Beltré had a hard time adjusting to spacious SafeCo (I dont know what is its name this year), and others as well have had a hard time batting in that stadium. In Jesus’ first season in Seattle he had good stats in the road, his second year he only played a handfull of games so it can not be used for lack of ABs but it could be that he re-emerges as a good 1B/DH (if Miguel Cabrera can “play” 3B Montero surely can play 1B).

    • chip56 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      I think Phelps could be very good in a Ramiro Mendoza role.

  7. vegagreenleaf - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Let’s see him pitch a few times in the regular season before declaring a “winner” of the trade. Looks like both clubs got rid of a stud prospect just before each turned into more of a dud.

  8. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    It is official. This is a rotation. A better one that I anticipated at least. Its a better rotation than the Blue Jays are sporting. Is it better than the Orioles, though? I think so. As long as Pineda lasts and if Sabbathia and Kuroda can be who they used to be, it is. Alternatively if Jimminez tanks, that drops the O’s off a cliff pitching-wise, so the difference could be even more stark. So lets give the O’s and The Yankees about equal footing with the pitching, then.

    Overall? Can the pitching overcome a “smouldering tire fire” for an infield and basically Elssbury and McAnn to carry the offence? even if they can stay on the field I I don’t think so since Texiera can be counted on to do much. That wrist sounds like a problem. What’s more Ellsbury is already missing games with a calf thing.

    I just do not have a good feeling about this team.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Don’t worry…Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young will lead the O’s to victory.

  9. bronx77 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Pitch limit. I’m very hopeful for him this year but hopefully they limit him so he can stay healthy.

  10. - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    See how long he can stay healthy.

  11. denny65 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    Prancer will be out of baseball by the end of this season.

    And also out of those size-36 chinos he bought on spec.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2777)
  2. B. Crawford (2674)
  3. Y. Puig (2453)
  4. G. Springer (2372)
  5. C. Correa (2282)
  1. H. Ramirez (2256)
  2. H. Pence (2157)
  3. J. Fernandez (2135)
  4. J. Hamilton (2126)
  5. D. Wright (2116)