Key Stats: Upon seeing where other sites are ranking Michael Pineda after the way he started in his rookie season, I am very surprised that he’s not being ranked higher. Pineda came out of the gates flying last year as a top 50 player in both April and May – only four other starting pitchers accomplished that. He was deservedly (unlike 50% of the players) selected to the all-star game as a result of his first half. And yes, Pineda did limp to the finish, but his batting average against was still just .236 to go along with a respectable 1.22 WHIP after the all-star game. He is going to be 23 this year –he should improve on everything in year two.
Skeptics Say: As a Pineda owner I painfully had to absorb one blow after another to my rotisserie ERA in an AL-Only league. After he gave up about 1 home run every 7 innings in that second half it was pretty clear that either the league had caught up to him or he was exhausted. If it was the former it’s now Pineda’s turn to play catch up.
There’s also the obvious move from Seattle to New York. In addition to playing in a bigger market where expectations for him are to be the guy that puts the Yankees to the next level, he has to adjust to the dimensions of right field in Yankee Stadium. According to Park Factors, Yankee Stadium was the 6th best park for runs and Safeco Field was 26th last year.