Welcome to the mysterious world of Michael Pineda, where even in his walk-year, it’s hard to determine what kind of pitcher he’s going to be for the Yankees.
The Yankees talk about how Pineda has the stuff to succeed in the rotation this year. However, Pineda isn’t consistent enough to actually put his stuff to good use.
In Pineda’s latest start against the Atlanta Braves, he gave up two runs in three innings of work. The only thing Pineda had working for him was the changeup. The fastball and slider were noticeably off, and that allowed him to get knocked around in the first inning.
“I threw the ball pretty good…,” Pineda said after pitching his three innings. “My first outing (against the Tigers) my slider was working great. (Thursday), I missed with a couple sliders. But everything was good.”
Pineda has been known for his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine, where one start he appears dominant and the next he’s throwing batting practice fastballs to the opposing team.
In Pineda’s start against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, he pitched two scoreless innings. The Yankees would rather see that Michael Pineda than the one that took the mound against the Braves.
“For Michael, it’s about consistency more than anything else, because we see how dominant he can be,” Girardi said before the game. “And some innings can be really, really easy and then he’ll have a little blip. And the other thing for him is keeping the ball in the ballpark. For Michael, that’s big. Because he has the ability to strike people out, so if he keeps the ball in the ballpark it’s much harder to score runs off him.”