Is Pineda’s control & velocity really an issue?
Michael Pineda came into camp on February 19 hoping that he could win a spot in the New York Yankees rotation. With approximately a week and a half until Opening Day, Pineda has drawn up concern among fans and writers. Of course we all know that Michael Pineda has not been in New York for long and is not accustom to someone over-analyzing his every move in every outing but hey, this is New York, the center of the media zoo.
In Pineda’s last couple of starts, he has shown promise. He has shown why he was so powerful in Seattle but there was an issue with all his outings; control. In an excerpt from Andrew Marchand’s article on ESPN New York, he explains how velocity isn’t his only issue, but also control:
The major concern for Michael Pineda’s spring has been velocity, but that has masked another problem for the talented, young starter thus far — a lack of control. For the fourth time in five outings, Pineda could not last the ideal amount of innings in his start Sunday because he threw too many pitches.
After 87 pitches and five innings Sunday, he was out of there.
The fact that Pineda’s fastball stayed at 90-92 throughout his start, with the occasional 93 or 94, is still a definite concern if he is going to be a dominant starter. But, right now, he trends toward a four or five to begin the season because he may have an inability to go deeper into games and dominate. He looks like a 12-to-14 win guy with around a 4.00 ERA.
I have noticed that during Michael Pineda’s last few starts he has had control issues. In Pineda’s outing versus the Pirates, he had thrown 33 pitches and had thrown too many cutters in the first inning before settling down and showing us why the Yankees traded for him. In his outing yesterday, Pineda had gotten into too many full counts and was done after 5 innings, which is something you don’t want to do during the regular season. In those situations, you end up burning out your big guys in the bullpen like Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, David Robertson & Mariano Rivera.
We can’t really judge Michael Pineda for solely this one reason: We have never seen him during Spring Training in years past. This is the first time that the Yankees have seen Pineda during the Spring so there isn’t much that we can compare to. Perhaps Pineda uses Spring to work on his pitches and saves his velocity during the regular season which I am hoping is the case. A scout had spoken to Marchand about Pineda and what he said was not only interesting, but also made a lot of sense.
I think he is going to be okay,” a scout said of Pineda, whose final line was fine (5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks). “He got strong as the game went on [Sunday.] I had him at 89-91 with a couple of 93s. He was not dominant and probably isn’t yet what the Yankees expected. But I think when he gets under the lights of Yankee Stadium, he is going to be OK.”
So should we really be worried about Pineda and his velocity at this point? I would still say that it is too early to tell. Probably once he hits Yankee Stadium the adrenaline will equal a higher velocity. I do know one thing though. I get the feeling we are going to see great things from Michael Pineda in 2012.
To read the ESPN New York article click here