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Michael Pineda makes a strong impression in Yankees debut

Apr 5, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

pineda getty Getty Images

Michael Pineda made his Yankees debut on Saturday against the Blue Jays, more than two years after he joined the club in the trade that sent then-prospect Jesus Montero to the Mariners. During spring training, Pineda injured the labrum in his right shoulder and eventually underwent surgery in May. Pineda missed all of the 2012 season and most of the 2013 season recovering.

In June last season, Pineda was finally cleared to begin pitching against live competition. He joined the Single-A Tampa Yankees for two starts, then the Double-A Trenton Thunder for two starts, and finally the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders for six starts. In total, the right-hander posted a 3.32 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 14 unintentional walks in 40 2/3 innings. The final step was spring training. In 15 innings this past spring, Pineda posted a 1.20 ERA with 16 strikeouts and one walk. At the end of March, manager Joe Girardi announced that Pineda would, at long last, be a part of the Yankees’ rotation.

In his Yankees debut tonight, the 25-year-old right-hander held the Jays to one run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts over six innings. The Yankees, unfortunately, couldn’t support him with any offense and Pineda took a tough-luck loss. According to Pitch F/X, Pineda was in the 92-94 MPH range, hitting 95 at times.

The real test, of course, will be Pineda’s ability to turn in solid outings on a consistent basis. But step one, at least, was a huge success. The Yankees, who lost first baseman Mark Teixeira to injury on Friday, could use some uplifting news right about now.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Besides for CC’s outing- the Yankees bats have been the problem this year, but all should kneel before Kevin Long- the batting genius.

    • skeleteeth - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      They should hire Tino to grip up some of those punks…

    • cackalackyank - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      Absolutely. Once again the pitching has come through, with one exception. It is the offense which …offends. Yes, credit must be given to opposing pitchers, but so far Beltran and McCann are failing to provide the power hitting they were hired for. Miserably.

      • yournuts - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Six games in April is not a good test. Let them have 100 ay bats and lets see where everything falls.

  2. rcali - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Pineda could be the key for the yanks to get to 80 wins this year.

  3. Shayna - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    I love how the Yankee skew in this story doesn’t even register with anyone. “The Yankees, unfortunately, couldn’t support him with any offense” and this was a “tough-luck loss”. Nothing to do with a great pitching performance by RA Dickey or some hot Blue Jays bats. It’s as if the Yankees were playing against some notional opponent. Give me a break!

    • bronxbomber213 - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      The story is about Pineda dummy RA Dickey wasn’t injured the last 2 seasons and wasn’t making his first start coming back from shoulder surgury! Why would you click on a Michael Pineda comeback story expecting to see them praise RA Dickeys performance?!?

      • spudchukar - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I watched a lot of this game, and didn’t think Pineda’s outing deserves quite the adulation it gets here. It should be encouraging to Yankee fans, but in my mind the jury is still out, cause Pineda relied on an awful lot of breaking balls to get hitters out, and his command was less than stellar. A step in the right direction certainly, but “cautious optimism” would be a more accurate take-away from Saturday’s outing.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Actually, I’m stunned there is only one “yankee bias” comment on this story. Usually there are tons of them anytime a writer dares to write anything about them. And I was about to note my surprise that there were none of the usual “Yankee Player X wasn’t actually as good as the writer made him sound” comments and then I saw what Spud wrote. Only a true Yankee hater could read the above article and see any form of “adulation”.

  4. ch0psuey - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    I always love a good party with a ~pinata.

  5. skeleteeth - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    What the hell is with HBT? Multiple times I’ve typed comment, click on Post comment and am brought back to a post without my comment. Try to reply again and it claims it’s a duplicate yet….my comment is nowhere to be found.

    • skeleteeth - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:43 AM

      Seems to be on replies.

      • skeleteeth - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:43 AM

        Ha! Can’t swear apparently.

  6. thetoolsofignorance - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    Pineda really does shore up this rotation. I’m pleased for him. But aside from Ellsbury, I’m not seeing much from the rest of this team. The AL East seems to be a tighter competition than I thought only its for the cellar and not the lead. No one seems able to beat the Rays and everyone seems able to beat the Yankees.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:46 AM

      The Jays split 4 games with the Rays in Tampa Bay.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        Technically that’s still not beating them. That’s matching them.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        True, however; The Jays have historically lost most of the games they played in Tampa Bay. A split is better than a series loss.

        My comment was made to indicate that so far,the Rays are not dominating the AL East.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      I’m rooting for them all to fail (I’m a Red Sox fan), but it’s premature to say you’re not seeing much from the hitters, isn’t it? I believe Soriano is literally hitless. I’m going to go on on a limb and say he will not bat .000/.000/.000 for the season.

    • cackalackyank - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      “and everyone seems able to beat the Yankees.”
      So far the only AL beast team the Yankees have played is Toronto. Did not know that qualified as ‘everyone’. Also, taking 2 out of three on the road from a division opponent doesn’t seem that bad to me. Keep using those “many tools”.

  7. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    BB- you took Shayna’s post out of context. The comment was stating that the article reads as if to say the Yanks should have won and it was tough luck as opposed to saying the Jays played well and Dickey out- pitched him, despite Pineda having a solid start. Basically no credit to the Jays just saying the Yanks should have won as if it were written in the stars. I can dig it.

    Although I guess I should be happy that after one solid start you didn’t dub Pineda back to his old self and due for a monster season.

  8. pete2112 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I think everyone needs to chill out about who is doing what at this point in the season. Can we get a few weeks of the season under our belts before we start ripping people for not hitting yet? It’s hardly a fair sampling at this point. As for Pineda, it’s an encouraging performance after waiting two years for his Yankees debut but it’s far too early to get excited yet. I’m hoping he’ll be a solid fifth starter and can stay healthy as I think he’ll be a difference maker if he pans out.

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