Michael Pineda tells New York “I’m ready to play”
New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda threw a simulated game earlier this morning (3/2/2014) but hopes to move into the bullpen next! After being traded for catcher Jesus Montero in 2012 Pineda seems to have improved a visible amount, at least the Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks so. The pitcher’s previous abilities didn’t express his talents or show any “wow” factor, and the Yankees cannot settle for anything less than amazing this spring. However, Girardi says that Pineda has stepped up his game and is starting to look like the pitcher they traded for, one that made his way to the 2011 All-Star game. The former Mariners pitcher has room to grow but is being considered for the 2014 pitching rotation for the number 5 slot. Other pitchers in the running for spot number 5 include Adam Warren, lefty pitcher Vidal Nuno and David Phelps. All three of the previously mentioned pitchers have had a chance to start in a spring training game, and Pineda has yet to do so. However, he expects to be in the bullpen at least a few days before he is able to make a spring debut for the team.
This spring the Yankees have pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka, who is well known for his fastball, and CC Sabithia. The talent available for the Bronx Bombers is plentiful so the likelihood that they’ll step down to anyone performing the bare minimum is very low, like in the negative digits low. While Pineda has improved in the past 2 years Girardi still stays “its a little early to compare”. It is basic baseball knowledge that power pitchers need a little more TLC and time to grow before they amaze their team and staff, but will Pineda TRULY be prepared when the 2014 season starts? “Power pitchers take a little bit longer. But I can tell
you his stuff is a lot closer than it was when we got him that spring a couple of years ago. It just seems to be coming out of his hand easier.” Girardi said when asked if Pineda really is ready to play.
Other players have stated that Michael Pineda could use some fine tuning, and Yankees manager Girardi agrees. I think someone who hasn’t shown the same intensity as he had in 2011 isn’t someone ready to play in the big leagues quite yet, so hopefully Pineda utilizes every opportunity to increase his pitching velocity and intensity if he wants to stand on the mound for New York this summer. Yes, he has a talent that not many are able to obtain, pitching is a tricky thing to do! But the man has only a few weeks left to show the Yankees why he is what they’ve been looking for to fill their pitching rotation. If it’s intensity they want, Pineda better be ready to put on his game face and throw like it’s the last time he’ll ever touch a ball! Velocity? Pitch faster than a speeding bullet! It’s a lot to ask, but at this level it’s expected of him! Pineda, we’re all looking forward to seeing that name on the roster and you in that Yankees pin stripe jersey, but first we wanna see you pitch the way you used to!