The Mariners flirted with the idea of calling up top pitching prospect Michael Pineda multiple times this year to give him a taste of the major leagues in what has been a lost season in Seattle. They never pulled the trigger, though, and now it definitely won’t happen.
According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, the M’s decided Saturday to shut Pineda down for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old began this year with Double-A West Tennessee and turned in a gorgeous 2.22 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 13 starts. He was then promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, where he kept rolling to the tune of a 1.14 WHIP and 76/16 K/BB ratio over 62.1 frames.
The results have been fantastic at every level dating back to 2006 for Pineda but he’s thrown nearly 140 innings this year and registered only 47 total innings last season.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made it a point to note Saturday that Pineda is going to be in the mix for a major league rotation spot in 2011.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”