Those are Joe Girardi’s words. Of course he was talking about the Yankees rotation competition, and he was speaking one day before Michael Pineda’s final spring start before the decision is made. A month and a half ago, it seemed the longest of long shots that Pineda might not make the big league roster (much less the rotation), but now the Yankees are leaving open the possibility of sending Pineda to Triple-A.
“We want to see how he’s doing, just like anyone else,” Girardi said. “I’ve looked at his starts and they’ve been pretty decent. I’ll look at his next start, what I think. We’ll sit around a room and try to hash it out the best we can.”
Pineda’s velocity is down this spring, but his offspeed pitches seem to be better than the Yankees were expecting. Ultimately, the results have been good. Knowing what to expect from Pineda, though, is a little difficult because he’s new. He doesn’t have the instant familiarity of Ivan Nova, or the track record of Freddy Garcia. The Yankees are learning as they go, adding this spring’s information to what they’ve already learned from a distance.
Tonight might be their last chance to gather information before they make a rotation decision.
“Does it hurt (that he’s new)?” Girardi said. “No, because I’ve watched plenty of his tapes to see what he’s capable of doing. He’s added a pitch really since last year for me. That’s a difference. … I want to see how sharp he is, and to get some distance out of him (tonight). These guys have been going up to about 95 pitches. We want to get some distance.”
Associated Press photo