The New York Yankees took on the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon in spring training. The luster of the rivalry is lacking due to the circumstances, but it was still a huge day for starting pitcher Michael Pineda. Working for the No. 5 spot in the Yankees’ pitching rotation, Pineda went above and beyond the competition to assert himself as the fifth starter.
Since coming into spring training, the competition for the final spot in the Yankees’ rotation was among Pineda, Adam Warren, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno. Warren is more than likely going to be regulated to the bullpen while Phelps is faltering under the pressure. Nuno was re-assigned to the minors over the weekend as Pineda continues to pitch well.
Against Boston, Pineda last 4.1 innings allowing four hits and striking out five batters. A third straight solid performance is increasing the chances of Pineda winning the competition. Through those three starts, he has pitched more than five innings striking out 10 batters overall. He has also not allowed an earned run.
This is the guy the Yankees traded for a few years ago from the Seattle Mariners. New York did not expect to get a guy with a damaged arm who could not pitch for two years. New York is finally starting to figure out who they got in the deal that sent their top prospect to the Mariners. More and more each start it is looking like the Yankees won this trade with flying colors.
Pineda will win the fifth starting spot barring the absurd. He will be the saving grace for New York later in the season.