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New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda: I’m 100 Percent Healthy, Ready to Compete for Rotation Spot

February 11th, 2014 at 6:20 PM
By Doug Rush

It's been almost three years now since Michael Pineda has thrown a baseball in a live game and the New York Yankees are patiently awaiting to see his debut in the Major Leagues.

Pineda was acquired by the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for catching prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, but Pineda has yet to throw a single pitch for the Yankees in 2012 and 2013 due to shoulder problems, which lead to surgery and keeping him on the sidelines for all of 2012 and part of 2013. Pineda did pitch in the minor leagues in 2013, but never got called up by the team.

Pineda reported to the Yankees training camp facility at Steinbrenner Field on Monday and told the media that he was in fact 100 percent and ready to win the fifth and final rotation spot for the 2014 regular season.

“I’m going to compete for the rotation,” Pineda said. “I’m the same Michael Pineda. I’m 100 percent now and my body is in good shape.”

Pineda being in shape is a key factor, especially since in the spring of 2012, Pineda was a reported 20-30 pounds overweight and was a factor in him running into arm and shoulder problems and eventually, a trip on the disabled list, but  now, Pineda is said to be at around 260 pounds, which is his more normal playing weight and will allow him to be a more effective pitcher when he competes with guys like David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno for the final rotation spot, a spot he is unsure of if he's the front runner for or not.

“I don’t know,” Pineda said as he was leaving the team’s minor league complex. “I’m not really paying attention [to whether] I’m the favorite or not. I’m focused on my job and doing good and making it through spring training.”

In the one and only season in the majors with the Mariners, Pineda went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA in 28 starts with 173 strikeouts in 171 innings and was on the 2011 American League All Star roster in his rookie season and showed a ton of promise as a potential ace and strikeout king, but two years away from the major leagues has hampered that progress.

But Pineda is promising that he is in fact healthy and ready to compete and look to be the guy that the Yankees traded their best hitter and position player in the minor leagues for and if Pineda can live up to that billing, then he really could be a force in the rotation that needs some depth and youth injected into it for this coming season.

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA

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Tags: Baseball, Michael Pineda, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners

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