Joe Girardi knew for quite some time Michael Pineda was going to be the fifth starter in the rotation, especially with his dominant Spring outings, but now that Pineda has the job locked up, the road to a comeback begins.
“He threw extremely well,” Girardi said. “It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved with each outing, and at times was dominant. We really liked what we saw. … He has worked very hard the last two years. He’s excited about it but understands he has a job to do.”
The Yankees currently don’t have an innings limit with Pineda to start the season, but as the season goes on, the Yankees could become cautious. They know they don’t want him to go over 200 innings just two years removed from shoulder surgery.
“He does not have an innings limit on him,” Girardi said. “We will watch how he’s doing and we’ll make judgments on what we have to do. This is a guy that has been to 175 innings before, so we know that he’s capable of handling that. It’s just, we’ve got to see how he’s responding.”
– Adam Warren, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno are slated to each pitch an inning. Now that the Yankees have Pineda slotted in the fifth spot, they want to make sure Warren and Phelps are adjusted to their new roles. The Yankees are uncertain whether Nuno will break camp with the team but it wouldn’t hurt them to observe.
– John Ryan Murphy was the next cut from Yankees camp, leaving Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli as the only competitors left for the backup catching position. Barring a trade–which doesn’t seem likely–Cervelli seems to have already won the job.
– Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka will pitch in Friday’s game. Kuroda will only go two innings. Tanaka’s next start will be exactly one week from when hes’ slated to pitch, so he’s bound to throw a couple of bullpen sessions before then,