There’s no question that one of the New York Yankees‘ biggest problems from a year ago was their starting rotation. Even the reliable C.C. Sabathia had the worst season of his career. However, help is on the way, Yankee fans. Michael Pineda looks poised to step up and join the New York starting rotation heading into the 2014 season. This is especially true after witnessing him pitch today against the Toronto Blue Jays in Spring Training.
Pineda didn’t have his best performance on the mound against the Blue Jays, but he showed manager Joe Girardi that he can get still get the job done even when he doesn’t have his best stuff. The 25-year-old pitcher struggled with his command and ran into some trouble numerous times throughout the course of this game. Some of the problems were of his own doing, such as the wild pitch to allow a runner to score and the throwing error he made on his throw to first off of a sacrifice bunt. However, he still managed to pull through when faced with pressure.
There were a bunch of moments the Blue Jays had runners on first and third or second and third, but every time Pineda made sure to keep things under control. Toronto never got the chance to blow the door wide open, because the right-hander would either force a strikeout or a ground ball for a double play to end the inning. It wasn’t pretty all the time, but in the end, he worked out of multiple jams, which is exactly what the Yankees want to see from their young pitcher.
Pineda pitched six innings, giving up six hits, three runs (two earned), no walks, and struck out two batters when it was all said and done to end a solid outing. The two earned runs he allowed today were the first runs he has allowed all of Spring Training, which is incredible. If your pitcher manages to only give up two runs every nine innings he pitches, like Pineda did this spring, he should give the Yankees’ staff a much-needed boost in 2014. This New York team has tons of power in their lineup, and with a great pitching staff alongside it, the Yankees could make a deep run in the postseason.