By trading for Michael Pineda, the New York Yankees made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason. Their moves likely make them favorites in the American League East and one of the top title contenders in all of baseball depending on how Pineda performs.
Moving from the AL West to the AL East means that Pineda will be facing much more potent lineups, but if he is as good as advertised, then he should not have a problem with them.
Pineda will be a New York Yankee for a long time, and he will likely have a lot of success with the team.
The following are some bold predictions for his time in New York.
The American League East is a whole 'nother beast compared to the offenses that Michael Pineda faced during his first year in the majors with the Seattle Mariners.
Pineda made nine starts against AL East teams in 2012, and he did not have much success. He did manage to go 2-1, but he had a 4.75 ERA over the course of 53.1 innings.
This shows that Pineda might not yet be ready to handle the powerful lineups he will face in the AL East.
Even if Michael Pineda sees his ERA increase in 2012, it does not mean he will see his win total go down.
In fact, it should go up now that he will have the run support that the New York Yankees' offense provides.
In 2011, A.J. Burnett managed to win 11 games for the Yankees despite the fact that he had a 5.15 ERA. With that being said, Pineda should be able to win at least 13 games if he has an ERA in the low-to-mid-4.00's.
Michael Pineda has the potential to become one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball. His 9.1 K/9 rate in 2011 was the second best in the American League for qualified starters behind only Brandon Morrow.
Pineda threw only 171 innings in 2011 to reduce the wear and tear on his arm. As his inning totals get greater, so will his strikeout totals.
Eventually, Pineda will lead the American League in strikeouts.
Last season, the New York Yankees were a piece or two away from being a World Series team.
Michael Pineda may be the piece they were looking for to complete the puzzle.
Even if the Yankees do not win the title this coming season, they have Pineda locked up until 2017, when he becomes a free agent. This gives them a decent-sized window to win a World Series title, and they should be able to pull off the feat.
There are a number of very talented pitchers in the American League, and Michael Pineda has the skills to rise into the upper echelon of starters. He showed off his talent in 2011, and it earned him an appearance on the AL All-Star team.
Pineda will be just 23 years old during the 2012 season, and he still has a lot of time to improve and get better. A few years down the road, Pineda should be one of the elite pitchers in the American League. He has the potential to win a Cy Young if he progresses as he should during his time in New York.