Michael Pineda’s stint so far with the New York Yankees has been up and down since he was traded for Jesus Montero in 2012. Montero, who at the time was the Top Prospect in the Yankees organization, was traded alongside Hector Noesi for Pineda and Jose Campos.
Injuries and controversy has plagued Pineda in his time with the pinstripes, but no one has ever questioned his ability. Last year, during a game against the Red Sox, Pineda was ejected for having pine tar on his neck and was later suspended for 10 games by the MLB. The pine tar incident on April 23rd ended up being his last start until August 13th because of a back injury, causing Pineda to miss a chunk of the season.
But so far Pineda has been healthy as well as productive this year. When Masahiro Tanaka went down earlier with a forearm injury, Pineda was expected to be the ace of the Yankees rotation, and he has delivered to say the least. Pineda is currently 5-0 and is sporting a 2.72 era with 56 K’s in 46.1 innings. He had his most dominating performance last Sunday afternoon, where he struck out 16 batters in 7 innings only allowing 6 hits and 1 ER.
The Yankees have a pitching staff that had a lot of questions coming into the season, but Pineda has been the anchor to a team that has been playing great ball. If he continues to dominate in this fashion and stay healthy, the Yankees could battle for a division title or a wildcard spot. With Ivan Nova and Tanaka to come off the DL in the near future, the biggest question facing the Yankees and their fans is can he and the rest of the rotation stay healthy?