"I'm working on my change-up. Anyone got a problem with that?" - Michael Pineda did not actually say that after he mentioned how he's working on his change-up, but several scared reporters heard that after seeing the look in his eyes.
The Yankees suffered their first loss of Spring Training to the Phillies today, but since it's Spring Training more people are rightfully focusing on the more important story of how Michael Pineda pitched. Quite frankly, he pitched pretty well for the two innings we saw him. Perhaps his command and change-up could be improved more, but that is what Spring Training is for. Otherwise, he worked fast: his fastball is pretty sweet, and with the combination of that work-in-progress change-up, he can definitely be a dangerous weapon in the Yankees rotation. Pineda gave up one hit and struck out two batters, one with a really nasty breaking ball and the other with some high heat. Again, the speed differential of his pitches will be a huge advantage, especially if he gets that change-up working again. Here are some encouraging tweets from Marc Carig on Pineda today.
Pineda felt good about his change. Also, says he's also dropped 8 pounds.
Couple scouts had Pineda anywhere from 89-92 on his fastball. One said slider was flat. Translation: still building up arm strength.
"He'll be fearless with it." - Larry Rothschild on Michael Pineda's changeup
Definitely encouraging. All in all, even though it was only two innings in Spring Training, it's looking like Yankees fans will have a lot to look forward to with Pineda this year.
Meanwhile, the offense, which has been impressive the past two games, was just really not there today. Raul Ibanez just looked lost out there with his swing, not even able to catch up to the most basic of fastballs. Not encouraging to see. I will say that Zoilo Almonte continues to impress at the plate. I wish him nothing but the best this Spring Training. However, Melky Mesa continues to depress with how he looks at the plate. Chavez is not inspiring much confidence either. It's still early in Spring Training though.
The Mops of the day did not perform well at all, especially Adam Miller, whose only out was the result of a caught stealing. So really, he did nothing to get an out. Juan Cedeno followed up in typical mop fashion and it was not pretty. And even though it's Spring Training, I'm still rooting for David Robertson to get those free passes down as today it cost him by walking the speedy Jimmy Rollins, who stole two bases and then scored on a hit.
Finally, in sadder news, Eduardo Nunez was hit by a pitch on the hand and is being sent for X-rays. Hopefully it is nothing serious.
UPDATE: Nunez' X-rays came back negative
So PSA, what did you think of Michael Pineda today?