The Yankees Big move of the off-season was trading away top prospect Jesus Montero and getting Michael Pineda in the deal. Hector Noesi was also part of the deal and they also got back Jose Campos who is a minor league pitcher with a lot of potential. The big names though were Montero and Pineda. The Pineda move was big in more then one way. Pineda is a big guy, he is a towering presence. Pineda is listed as 6’7 and 260 pounds. He had a productive rookie campaign with the Seattle Mariners last season. He was an all-star but his numbers dropped significantly in the second half of the season.
The Yankees biggest weakness was their starting pitching. They are clearly looking to get younger and more cost effective in this department. They now look at having CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes and then at least one of the killer b’s coming up this year or next year. The Yankees are looking to have a young cost effective rotation for years to come. These arms are also power arms and have a lot of potential. The Yankees didn’t trade Montero away for nothing. Pineda has his risks but the Yankees think they are less the the possible reward they will get. Pineda will work on his changeup in spring training and most feel that will make him an elite pitcher. If he has a plus fastball, slider and a decent change-up he could be a number one or two starter at worst. If you team him up with CC Sabathia then the Yankees really have something going.
Pineda will be in a pressure situation in New York but it doesn’t seem like that will bother him. The other thing that will be good is he won’t have to lead the staff. The Yankees could have him as the number four starter at the beginning of the season. CC Sabathia is the ace, Ivan Nova could be the two starter with Hiroki Kuroda being three. Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia will battle it out for the fifth spot and we will assume that A.J. Burnett will be gone. The Burnett rumors have been going on for days and he is still a Yankee so who knows. I would still bet on him being gone by the weekend though. The Yankees pitchers and catchers will report on Sunday.
Pineda already arrived in camp early on Tuesday. He is set to go and has said all the right things so far. He said he knows he needs to work on the changeup and will do that. He has said he is very happy to be a Yankees and when he looks at all the guys he will be playing with he is just amazed. The Yankees will need him, if he can turn into a number two starter they will be a very tough team to beat. It will be hard to match-up with him, Sabathia, Nova and Kuroda. The Yankees already have a great bullpen and offense and if their starting pitching is great, watch out baseball. The American League is stacked this season so they will need Pineda to be Big and effective right away. It should be interesting and fun to watch this Big man develop. I know I am looking forward to watching him pitch on the big stage of New York.