Can Michael Pineda Become The Yankees’ Ace?


Yes. You heard it here first, folks. I believe wholeheartedly that Michael Pineda can, and very possibly may become the ace of the Yankees’ starting rotation in 2015.

If you watched Michael Pineda at all last season, you know why I say this. First off, the guy is a giant. At 6’7″, 260 lbs., he’s intimidating to hitters before he even throws a pitch. He does, quite literally, have electric stuff. His fastball hits the catcher’s glove at around 97 mph every time, and he owns one of the best sliders in the game. He also has scary-good control.

In 13 starts this season, Pineda walked only seven batters. That is an insanely low amount. Overall, Pineda finished the 2014 season 5-5, with a 1.89 ERA. The ERA is indicative of how good he was, not the record. It basically seemed like every time he took the mound, Pineda had his A game.

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There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Pineda has the stuff to be a #1 starter. The only question is, will his body allow it? Injuries caused Pineda to miss the entirety of both the 2012, and 2013 seasons, and more than half of this past one as well. When healthy, Pineda has some of the best stuff in the game, but health is always a big “if” with him.

Everyone knows that going into next season, Masahiro Tanaka will be the Yankees’ ace. However, with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, there’s just no way to know if Tanaka will be able to make it through a full season, and still be the dominant pitcher we saw this past season. If he isn’t able to, that’s where Pineda could get his opportunity to step up, and become the rock of the Yankees’ rotation.

I’ve believed in Pineda ever since the Yankees acquired him in that 2012 trade with the Seattle Mariners. Even after season-cancelling injuries in 2012 and 2013 gave me and other fans severe doubts about whether or not he would ever contribute to the Yankees, he showed this season that there was never any reason to doubt him. But with health always at risk, will 2015 finally be the year that he’s able to stay healthy for a full season, and really show his true potential? Only time will tell.