Pitcher Michael Pineda had the most dominating start for the New York Yankees so far this season against the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon and it is amazing to think that he almost did not make the rotation to start the 2014 season.
Pineda had to fight for his fifth spot in the rotation as it was an open competition to see who deserved it the most. He was able to outlast teammate David Phelps as he turned in a stellar Spring Training and carried over that production into his first start for the Bronx Bombers.
Pineda was solid for New York, allowing only one run over six innings of work and struck out five batters. Realistically, things could not have gone much better for Pineda as he took on an AL East foe.
Unfortunately for Pineda, R.A Dickey was even more impressive for the Blue Jays, as he took advantage of a Yankees lineup that was without Mark Teixeira as he went 6 2-3 innings, struck out six and did not allow a run. This comes after an abysmal opening day start in which he allowed five hits, six walks and six runs in only five innings of work
Even though New York did drop the game by losing 4-0, the big story was undoubtedly about Pineda. He had not made a start in MLB since 2012 and he had to endure injury and disappointment to make it to this point in his career. The Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero in order to obtain him and until today, did not see any profit from the move.
Pineda still has a lot to prove, and he will have to continually perform at this high level if the Yankees want to be one of the top teams in the American League, but today was a huge stepping stone for him moving forward and he should be able to build off of this impressive first start.