Last night Michael Pineda capped a so-so Spring with his worst performance to date, getting knocked around by the Phillies for 6 ER in 2.2 innings and (still) failing to touch even once the 95 mph mark that his fastball averaged last season. During the game YES announcer David Cone noted that Pineda seemed to be pulling his fastballs so they were both hooking and – presumably – coming out of his hand with less velocity than they should. Russell Martin later confirmed this. It seemed all but certain that Pineda would begin the 2012 season in Scranton Wilkes-Barre. And then, this news broke. Bummer, though not a disaster.
With Phil Hughes' sterling Spring, his next start has been rescheduled so that he can slide into the #3-slot in the rotation behind Sabathia and Kuroda. Freddy Garcia has had a great Spring and Ivan Nova's last start (7.0 IP against the Twins, 4 ER, 5 K, 0 BB) seemed to indicate he is moving in the right direction.
So it's looking like the Yankee starting rotation as of Opening Day will be (stats for Spring training):
CC Sabathia – 14.0 IP; 4.50 ERA; 1.36 WHIP; .298 BAA
Hiroki Kuroda – 21.2 IP; 2.91 ERA; 1.06 WHIP; .247 BAA
Phil Hughes – 13.1 IP; 2.03 ERA; 0.98 WHIP; .220 BAA
Freddy Garcia – 12.1 IP; 2.92 ERA; 1.14 WHIP; .213 BAA
Ivan Nova – 19.2 IP; 6.86 ERA; 1.22 WHIP; .280 BAA
By comparison, Pineda's numbers – particularly the BAA – are abysmal: 19.0 IP; 5.68 ERA; 1.79 WHIP; .324 BAA.
Hopefully Pineda will recuperate quickly and straighten himself out. If he does, and with Andy Pettitte working toward a debut sometime in May, none of those rotation spots – save CC's – can be considered safe for long. It is very strange to go into a season feeling this good about the Yankee starting pitching but I'll try to get used to it.
Less than a week now!!!