Is Pineda a lock as the Yankees’ No. 2 starter?

As the dust settles from Friday’s big deal between the Yankees and Mariners, many – this space included – have been touting Michael Pineda as a good fit to slide behind CC Sabathia in the Yankees’ rotation. But that may not be the case if the Yankees choose a more conservative route with bringing the hard-throwing righty into the 2012 season.

A person familiar with the Yankees’ thinking said this weekend that Pineda shouldn’t be considered a lock as the Yankees’ No. 2 starter, and added that cases could be made for Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda and even A.J. Burnett in that spot over Pineda.

“It’s not my decision, but I would not slot him there,” the person said. “I think he’s got a chance to get there someday, but I wouldn’t be looking for that soon. … From my standpoint, there’s still development here that needs to take place. This is not a finished product. I would not put him in the situation where, hey, you’re starting Game 2. But maybe that’s ultimately what gets decided.”

One point of concern is Pineda’s changeup, which still needs to be thrown more to become a reliable pitch for him. Right now, he’s been succeeding largely behind his fastball and slider. This much is certain – with seven arms to fit five slots, the rotation promises to be a good topic of discussion for manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in Spring Training.


What’s up Robert?

I agree, Nova deserves to be the No.2 guy, and most likely will be. He has been far more successful and is more developed than Pineda is . Pineda’s lack of success, experience and consistency most likely will keep him from being the No.2 guy.Pineda still has a bit of developing to do as a major league starter. No one should be fooled by Kuroda’s numbers. The guy has been pitching in one of the majors WEAKEST divisions and he has NEVER had a winning season in the National League. Most likely he won’t be an upgrade one what Colon nor Garcia gave the Yanks last season being 37 yrs old. A guy like him rarely makes a successful transition from the NL to the AL, another reason to not get excited about this guy. If anything this guy will most likely fight over the No. 4 & 5 spots in the rotation along with BUSTnett, Hughes and Garcia. I could see him coming out of the pen along with Garcia doing long relief. Like I said, I doubt these guys will be enough to overcome the question marks that already exist in the Yankee rotation in Hughes and BUSTnett along with Pineda.


Hey Matt,
You could be right about Kuroda. I liked Oswalt a little more, but without the health issues!


i agree Nova most likely will be a No. 2. and Pineda will most likely be the No. 3 with both Hughes,Kuroda, and BUSTnett fighting over the remaining two spots in the rotation. Still not a great rotation, Kuroda is one more old pitcher who never posted a winning season in the NL, wouldn’t be surprised to see him in BP along with Garcia. He isn’t a real upgrade over Garcia or Colon from last season, will have to see how he does in a league full of powerful offenses. Like I said they don’t offset the question this team has in the rotation right now.


If it had to be decided right now, I would have to say Ivan Nova has earned the number two slot. But it does sound like Michael Pineda has the tolls to surpass Nova in the future!


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