Michael Pineda Makes First MLB Spring Training Start for the New York Yankees

Phillip BrownSenior Analyst IIMarch 5, 2012

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during the New York Yankees Photo Day on February 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Michael Pineda made his first start for the New York Yankees against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yes, it is only spring training and not a regular season game in New York, but he was impressive nonetheless.

Almost nobody questioned Pineda's pure stuff, but there have been questions about his mental status because of his big move to New York.

In the first few days of spring training, Michael Pineda was surprised at the massive amounts of media attention.

ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews explained what happened.

"Michael Pineda's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he was surrounded at his locker by the 11 intrepid members of the Yankee beat this morning. After all, all he had done was throw some live batting practice to Colin Curtis and Melky Mesa, an "event'' that would have gone largely ignored when he was a Seattle Mariner."

Matthews later went on to explain how Pineda temporarily ducked the media after a bullpen session, although he did eventually take a short interview and explained how he slightly changed the grip on his changeup.

"So instead of discussing his "outing,'' Pineda politely asked for some time to get his head around the concept of a press conference after an early spring workout. He promised he would talk to us "in a few minutes.'' He then disappeared into a circle of teammates and never did return to give his assessment."

That new grip seemed to work against the Phillies because Pineda came out and had a great outing for the Yankees.

Pineda threw two innings, gave up one hit, zero runs, struck out two batters and walked zero.

The game started off a little shaky as Pineda allowed Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game with a single to center field, but he settled down after that and sent six-straight batters back to the dugout and like spring training starts for most pitchers, he was pulled after two innings.

It does not look like the media attention is getting to him yet, and his new changeup looks like it is getting better. All he needs to do is keep doing what he is doing and get into shape for the beginning of the season.

Of course, we do not know how he will react to the media in New York, but it does not look like the media in Florida is distracting him.

This is a good start to the season for Michael Pineda. Let's just hope he keeps it up as the Yankees head north in a few weeks.

Will Michael Pineda become the ace we all expect him to be? Who knows? But he started off his Yankee career on the right foot.