Uh Oh Pineda
I am absolutely stoked to see Michael Pineda on the Yankees roster, do not get me wrong, but his spring ball game against the Toronto Blue Jays was not his perfect day by any means. Allowing for 3 runs with 2 earned while pitching 6 innings isn’t the worst that could happen, however it could definitely be improved upon.
For one thing Michael was known in 2011 as one of the fastest pitchers in the MLB and now, an official Yankee, Pineda is fighting for his chance at the 5th starting pitcher slot this upcoming season and games like this are certainly not the reason he is considered the front runner behind David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren. Of course at any time this order could change, but the Bombers seem to be anything but worried about Pineda’s abilities.
Pineda was out for two years after shoulder surgery on his pitching arm, but tells reporters he wants to stay a Yankee, and he plans to show us what he’s made of every chance he gets. Well great Mikey, but fans want to see strikeouts, not runs for the other team.
Meanwhile the team captain Derek Jeter played awkwardly. Looking like a new born giraffe, the soon to be retired Yankee scrambled around the batter’s box with no hits, making his preseason total a dismal 5-44 in 15 games. I guess it’s a good sign when the team’s manager says he isn’t worried about Jeter’s at-bat abilities, we’re expecting big things in his last year.
Another positive play in the game leaves us wondering if Dellin Betances is still on the list for the 2014 bullpen in New York. After all, unlike Pineda we saw Betances strike out Jose Bautista and get a fly ball from Edwin Encarnacion to end the 7th inning.
These are the things we look for when we watch spring training. Big plays from the little players. And yes I know Betances is hardly a rare name after his debut with the Yankees just 3 years ago, but watching him play this way will definitely improve his chances for the bullpen. Girardi said the name of the fifth starter will be made public soon and in the mean time fans and players are anxiously awaiting.
With all of that said it is starting to look a lot like Pineda has more competition than he originally planned, and hopefully finds it in himself to step it up and show us what he’s made of. I for one would love to see him pitch this season; with his fastballs whirling in at 95 miles an hour, he seems to be healthy. As I said before, it has only been 3 years since Pineda was the 4th fastest pitcher in the Major League in his rookie year with the Seattle Mariners.
So I guess allowing 3 runs isn’t too bad if he an step up to the plate and remind us why we snagged him in the first place. Also, next Tuesday is the day we’ve all been waiting for. One week from today the Yankees open up the regular season with a game against the Houston Astros. Just 7 measly days between us and the great American sport of baseball.