Michael Pineda wasn’t going to make it a time through the rotation without us talking about his fastball or dissecting some other part of his game. He faced the Tigers yesterday and showed off a fastball that reached 94 mph. After the game he told reporters that there was more where that came from.
“I have more,” Pineda told David Waldstein of the NY Times.
“Nobody throws hard in spring training,” he said, “because it’s spring training. You work on what you need to. Now I’m focusing a little more on making a good pitch.”
“I understand,” he said. “Everybody knows last year I threw harder, and what happened to him? I say it’s nothing. I feel good and I pitch. Everybody sees me, I pitch every five days.”
To be fair, Pineda did thrower hard last spring so it’s not like there is nothing to worry about at all. He has looked good overall this spring though. The velocity wasn’t there early, but has come on slowly. He still hasn’t hit 96-98 mph, but as as he continues to get stretched out, he threw 87 pitches Sunday, it isn’t unreasonable to think that will still come.
Meanwhile, he has done a decent job keeping hitters from squaring up on him this spring and when he did struggle, he made adjustments quickly. He’s showing a great slider and a promising changeup.