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The New York Yankees gave up their most prize prospect—Jesus Montero—for Michael Pineda, so they must see him doing great things.
Most of the questions about Pineda are how he will adjust to Yankee Stadium, the pressure of New York and the transition to the AL East. Unfortunately we will not see those questions answered just yet.
So far Michael Pineda's Spring Training has been up and down. Pineda entered camp 20 pounds over his 2011 listed weight of 260 pounds. C.C. Sabathia had a similar problem when he reported to Spring Training last offseason but he got back into shape.
On the bright side, Pineda has found an elusive third pitch: a changeup.
Here are Pineda's thoughts according to the New York Daily News.
“I’m working hard on my change-up,” he said. “I know I’ve gotta command it. It’s my third pitch but I need it. It’s getting better.”
Michael Pineda is not the only optimistic Yankee; his catcher—Russell Martin—made a point to work with Pineda to develop his changeup.
“Joe (Girardi) gave me a call this offseason and said, ’We’ve got to get this guy to work on his changeup,’ ” said Martin, “but obviously he has worked on it because I saw a good one.
“The first couple, he was on the side of them, which made them hard to control, but after that he got on top of the ball, throwing it on the same plane as the fastball, and that’s what gives it deception. He’s a quick learner and able to make adjustments on the mound, and that’s pretty impressive for a young guy.”
Only time will tell if Michael Pineda will develop into an ace, but any pitcher that has good command of three pitches, can reach 100 mph and has a devastating slider has a very good chance of succeeding in the majors.