MLB Spring Training 2012: Michael Pineda Won't Start 2012 in Minors for Yankees
When the New York Yankees traded prized prospect Jesus Montero for upstart rookie All-Star Michael Pineda of the Seattle Mariners, they believed they were getting major league-ready talent in exchange for major league-ready talent.
But according to George King III of the New York Post, manager Joe Girardi believes there is a possibility that Pineda could start his Yankee campaign in the minor leagues.
"That's a possibility,'' Girardi said of Pineda being sent to the minors to start the season. "Some of the guys have options if that's what we need to do. But if it makes us a better team putting them in the bullpen we might do it.''
That possibility arises from the fact that the Yanks are stacked with starting pitching and have four pitchers trying out for three spots in the rotation. CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda are already locked into the first two spots.
In a spring training game on Wednesday, Freddy Garcia was struck in the hand with a batted ball and diagnosed with a hand contusion. Although x-rays were negative, it is almost certain that one of the Bombers' rotation candidates will have to shut it down for a short period of time.
That could help Pineda's case to make the starting five out of spring as Garcia's preparation for the season could set his ready date past Opening Day.
But GM Brian Cashman also has more invested in the young right-hander than many would think.
Being traded for Montero, Pineda will have big expectations and shoes to fill left void by one of the Yanks' most promising offensive prospects in recent memory. A prospect that Yankee fans were eager to see on the field.
If Pineda is sent to the minors, he would even fail to reach the meager expectations of the Yankees GM as less than a No. 2 starter. Even Cash tried to downplay Pineda's readiness to be a great big-league pitcher, but also admitted there is a lot riding on this trade in previous statements.
I fully expect Pineda to be in the rotation and that was before the possibility of Garcia missing time.
If not, it would be a huge let down for Pineda's pinstriped career and for a player who was an All-Star in 2011.
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