You may have heard a thing or two about this, but during the offseason the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners agreed to trade some baseball players. The key pieces of the deal were Right-Handed Ace in Waiting Michael Pineda (to New York) and Probably Not Catcher Jesus Montero (to Seattle). This trade was a big deal because it is usually quite rare that two teams swap such promising, cost-controlled players for one another. Teams tend to covet their own. However, this trade made particular sense for the parties involved seeing as New York was in need of starting pitching and the Mariners had one of the worst offenses in the history of baseball last season. Since then, Spring Training has gotten underway and Michael Pineda has managed to completely take over the New York Media landscape. He didn’t throw the baseballs as fast as people expected and reports of his perceived loss in velocity became front page news information. You know that New York media, the Pineda freakout was like if Tim Tebow had been traded to the Mets or something. Could you imagine the hoopla? I went with the Mets there because that joke is terrible, and this is a baseball blog after all.
Michael Pineda with a slower fastball, they said, would be a disaster for the New York Yankees Baseball Club. Reasonable people may disagree, but I have to imagine the logic went something like this: A slower fastball means it’s easier for the batter to make contact with his baseball bat which means there’s a greater chance of said contact becoming a base hit or even a home run. It’s common strategy in Major League Baseball that pitchers try to avoid giving up base hits and home runs. If Michael Pineda were to start giving up all sorts of hits and runs because of his slower fastball velocity, then what would the New York Yankees ever do? There was a lot of panic and speculation regarding what they would do, and things did not look good, let me tell you.
Michael Pineda pitched on Sunday, and I’m happy to report that the Yankees season isn’t completely ruined just yet. It’s said that he was able to get his velocity up to the very unconcerning speed of 94 miles per hour, and when asked about it later Pineda replied, “I have more.” That’s really great news for both Pineda and New York Yankees fans. It would have really been a bummer had Pineda showcased a bunch of 91 and 90 mph garbage and totally tanked the Yankees entire season along with his piddling arm strength. All those season ticket holders probably would have been seriously bummed out had the season been understandably canceled on March 25th.