Michael Pineda was very good for the Yankees last season, but a suspension and injuries limited him to just 13 starts. This year he’s healthy and the results are fantastic, with a 4-0 record, 2.97 ERA, and 38/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings.
Tuesday he shut out the Blue Jays for eight innings, striking out six, walking one, and topping 100 pitches for just the second time since 2011. Yes, since 2011.
Pineda debuted for the Mariners as a 22-year-old, was traded to the Yankees at age 23, and has a lengthy injury history that includes missing all of 2012 and 2013, so it seems like he’s been around forever. However, he’s still just 26 years old and between last season and this season Pineda has started 19 games for the Yankees with a 2.26 ERA, .219 opponents’ batting average, and 97/10 K/BB ratio in 116 innings.
He no longer throws as hard as he did before all the arm problems, but Pineda can still miss plenty of bats and he’s gone from having shaky control to walking fewer than one batter per nine innings. Among all MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings since the beginning of last season Pineda ranks second in walk rate and second in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Now he just has to stay healthy.