Michael Pineda makes the Yankees that much better – yes I said that

14 Jan

Not many people that don’t follow baseball on a regular basis know who Michael Pineda is. No wonder after a sub .500 2011, but that comes with a kicker – he played for the Mariners. That does make a difference. Pineda is a big strong righty that has a fastball living in the 95mph range that has topped out at a 100mph enough to know hitting that mark is no fluke. His ERA is up in the 3.75 range which is perfectly acceptable in the AL and he just nay be a Yankee starter before you know it. Why does he change the game so much, and what do we expect from him?

For starters, no pun intended, he’s only 23 and whiffs better than a batter an inning. That is a nice weapon to have round. His fastball and slider are plus pitches – one scout called them exquisite. He does need to work on his changeup a little more, but at 23 with the type of gas he throws it isn’t a huge concern right now.  He has some time to develop. At 6’7″ the kid is a horse already and he not only likes to take the ball, he wants to take the ball. The only worry, which isn’t a big one yet. is that he throws a lot of fly balls which in Yankee Stadium might be a problem. On the plus side, he walks about 3/9 innings and has a WHIP of 1.10. That plays in any league.

It’s not just that Pineda is a quality starter, he allows the Yankees maximum flexibility. His arrival means Banuelos and Betances don’t have to rush up to the show. It means they can slide Burnett a little further back in the rotation if Pineda gets rolling. Better yet, they can trade Burnett if they eat a lot of salary and find a suitor. Even if they trade Burnett, the Yankess will still have 5 quality starters with Garcia in the long relief role and to spot start. This move on top of the Kuroda signing is a game changer. Even if Kuroda walks in 2013, the Yankees will still have 5 starters lined up with experience pitching in the Bronx with the killer B’s still on the way up.

This signing also means the Yankees big problem is now left side of the infield defense from the aging Jeter/A-Rod combo. That’s not the worst problem to have entering the season.

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