Michael Pineda is healthy enough to be the number five starter once the Yankees break camp–but Pineda would have to earn the job.
The first step would be pitching in a Spring Training game, and he’ll do so on Friday against the Detroit Tigers. Pineda will relieve Hiroki Kuroda, who will be the starter in that game and the both of them are expected to go three innings.
Scott Sizemore had a glimpse of Michael Pineda’s stuff, and he had to admit he was impressed.
“It’s been a couple of years since I saw him, but today the ball was popping out of his hand,” Sizemore said. “He has different movement on all of his fastballs, almost. I think it’s just a natural thing for him. Sometimes he cuts it, sometimes it sinks, sometimes it’s a true four-seamer. But as a pitcher that’s what you want. You don’t want two pitches to look the same. Of course, he’s saw tall and lanky with his arm action, as a right-handed hitter it kind of comes out from behind your head so it’s tough to feel comfortable in the box.”
Catcher Pete O’Brien was also impressed with Pineda’s stuff and believes Pineda has what it takes to compete for the fifth role.
Every time I caught him, I was telling one of the other guys, it looks like he’s turned it up a notch every single time,” O’Brien said. “It’s going to be fun once he gets into games. … He definitely is getting sharper. It’s fun to catch guys that have that competitive fire in them. He’s not afraid to go in on lefties and on righties. He looks very good.”
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