Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Remade Pineda emerging as Yankees’ ace

Photo credit: Getty Images
From (5/6/15)

When Michael Pineda burst onto the scene as a 22-year-old rookie with the Seattle Mariners in 2011, he did it on the strength of a fastball that touched 99 mph at times. Throwing his heater 58 percent of the time, Pineda was an up-and-coming power pitcher with ace potential. The Mariners, in search of a big-time bat, shipped him to the Yankees with Jose Campos in exchange for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi the following January.

What followed was two years of pain for both Pineda and the Yankees. The fire-balling right-hander didn’t throw a pitch in 2012 after being shut down in April with right shoulder tendinitis, which eventually turned into an anterior labral tear and required season-ending surgery. Complications from the procedure kept Pineda off the mound in 2013 as well, and while many around the Yankees suspected the Mariners knew their young stud was damaged goods, further news on that front never came to light.

Pineda finally made it back to the rubber in 2014, kicking off the season with three consecutive starts allowing one run or fewer. After a pine tar incident against the Red Sox got him ejected and suspended for 10 games, Pineda didn’t throw another live pitch until August after hurting his back during a simulated game. He picked up where he left off upon his return, allowing two runs or fewer in eight of his final nine starts.


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