Michael Pineda will definitely be playing ball this season…
After not throwing a pitch in Major League Baseball the last two seasons, the 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has won the New York Yankees‘ fifth starter job.
The team’s manager Joe Girardi made it official on Tuesday, saying Pineda has pitched well enough this spring to be named to the starting rotation, completing a two-year journey back from serious shoulder surgery and salvaging a trade that for a time looked as if it would be a disaster for the Yankees.
“He threw extremely well,” Girardi said. “It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved each outing. At times he was dominant. We liked what we saw.”
In four appearances (three starts) this spring, Pineda went 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA. He didn’t allow an earned run until this past Sunday after throwing 13 scoreless innings, and struck out 16 batters in 15 innings, walking just one.
“I’m so excited,” Pineda said. “I’ve been working so hard for the last two years to be in New York, to help my team, and today they make me happy. Today is a big day for me. I’m putting everything in the past. I want to continue my career and I want to be here for a long time.”
Despite the loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, Pineda’s performance convinced the Yankees to add him as the fifth starter in their rotation, behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova.
Pineda will make his first regular-season start on Saturday, April 5 against the Blue Jays in Toronto.