Monday notes: Pineda’s time for change
Martin said that he’d work it in, and as promised, the catcher called Pineda’s two scoreless innings pretty much how he would have in the regular season.
“Obviously I don’t want him to get beat in certain situations with it yet, because we’re still working on it,” Martin said during New York’s 9-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Phillies. “But there were some some situations that dictated that it was the right pitch to call, and he’s game.”
Pineda unloaded at least two good changeups, one to strike out Shane Victorino and the other to induce Domonic Brown to line out to third base, ending Pineda’s 30-pitch (19 strike) workload. He walked none and struck out two, buzzing a high fastball past Jim Thome for the other punchout.
“I feel very excited because it’s my first time, you know? I feel good,” Pineda said. “It’s great today. I threw a couple changeups today. It was pretty good.”
Pineda seemed to be amazed how much attention his Yankees debut received, surrounded by about a dozen reporters at his locker. He said the last time he talked to so much media was at the All-Star Game last July. Just wait until we get to New York.
What went right: The Yankees were pleased with Pineda’s outing above all else, so there was a lot of talk about his day. His changeup looked good, his slider did as well and his fastball velocity was a few ticks (generally 88-91 mph) lower than where the Yankees would want it during the regular season. There also wasn’t much else going on. Zoilo Almonte got another hit and RBI, remaining perfect with a 1.000 spring average, and Brett Gardner tripled. Russell Martin stole a base and Gustavo Molina got two hits.
What went wrong: The Yankees had an ugly sixth inning where Adam Miller, the former Indians stud prospect, walked three and hit a batter, charged with five runs in one-third of an inning. Juan Cedeno had some problems cleaning up the mess Miller left as well, allowing three runs himself in one inning. David Robertson allowed a RBI single in his inning of work and said he felt “sloppy” out there, with his mechanics off slightly. Cesar Cabral pitched a scoreless inning but gave up a bomb double to Thome and induced two hard lineouts. Eduardo Nunez was hit on the right hand with a pitch and left the game, but X-rays taken in Tampa were negative.
What they said: “I think he’ll be fearless with it. I think he will use it provided he’s comfortable with it and it’s an effective pitch for him. That’s the key to the whole thing.” – Larry Rothschild, on Pineda’s changeup.
What’s next: The Yankees hit the highway on Tuesday, taking on the Pirates in a 1:05 p.m. ET start in Bradenton, Fla. Left-hander CC Sabathia will make his first start of the spring, to be followed by right-hander Phil Hughes’ spring debut in the same game. The Yankees will bring their starting infield of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on the trip. Right-hander Kevin Correia starts for Pittsburgh.