Yankees Michael Pineda Returns To The Mound…Finally

Yankees Michael Pineda pitches for the first time in a year

Yankees Michael Pineda returns to the mound.

The Yankees made a trade for Michael Pineda after the 2011 season. This was in attempt to bulster their rotation which had held them back from reaching the promise land.

Pineda finished as the Mariner’s second best pitcher with a 3.74 ERA behind King Felix. While the ERA is not overly impressive, considering he was 22 and throwing 95-98 with consistency, the Yankees had to take a bite. To supplement his ERA, he pitched 171 innings with 173 Ks, 133 Hits, and only 55 walks. As a rookie, with a great heat, those numbers are awesome.

Jesus Montero was traded to the Mariners from the Yankees for Michael Pineda.

Jesus Montero was traded to the Mariners from the Yankees for Michael Pineda.

To get Pineda, the Yankees needed to trade number one prospect, Jesus Montero, who was lauded for his bat. His fielding on the other hand was suspect at best. In addition, they also had to send Hector Noesi.

More than a year after the deal, it looks like the deal added nothing to either teams. Noesi pitched to a 5.82 ERA in 2012 (18 GS) and 4.74 in 19 IP this season. Montero is currently hitting .208 with 3 HRs in 110 at bats this season. Meanwhile in Yankees camp, Pineda was shut down during Spring Training 2012 with elbow tendinitis and has been in recovery from a surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Michael Pineda pitches for single-A affiliate of the Yankees.

Michael Pineda pitches for single-A affiliate of the Yankees.

Until today, when he three 4 1/3 innings of one run ball and 4Ks in Advanced A. While he topped out at 94, it is understandable to see a dip in mph considering the length of his recovery.

If he is able to return, the Yankees suddenly have depth in their rotation, making one pitcher expendable. In this scenario, watch for the good ole Yanks’ to be active at the trade deadline.

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