Sincere question: what does Michael Pineda have to do in 2014 to make the trade with the Seattle Mariners for Jesus Montero a win for the New York Yankees? Win one game? Two? How about just taking the mound?
The next time Pineda throws a pitch for the Yankees in regular season action will be the first. Bear in mind that the trade that brought him to the Yankees occurred in January 2012. A torn labrum derailed things significantly, but the Yankees are hopeful that he is finally healthy and ready to return for the season. Tuesday they named him the 5th starter in the rotation, meaning that he beat out the likes of David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno.
Manager Joe Girardi had the following to say about Pineda’s performance this spring (quotes from MLB.com):
He threw extremely well. It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved with each outing, and at times was dominant. We really liked what we saw….
…He’s excited. He has worked very hard the last two years. He’s excited about it but understands he has a job to do.”
A 6’7″ right-handed starter, Pineda’s only big league action came in 2011 for the Seattle Mariners. He went 9-10 that season with a 3.74 ERA in 171 innings pitched. That low ERA combined with his 9.1 K/9 mark made him a huge get for the Yankees at the time before his injury troubles. They are hoping he can still bust out in 2014 and bolster the back of their rotation.