Michael Pineda, the pitching phenom who the Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero for, has taken another big step towards his Pinstripe debut.
Pineda threw five innings on Thursday in an extended spring training game in Tampa, his fastball averaged 93 mph in the session according to yankees GM Brian Cashman. Although the start to his Yankee career has been disappointing, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman thinks the 24 year old is getting close:
After appearing out of shape during his first Spring Training with the Yankees and then tearing his labrum shortly after arriving at camp there has been doubt as to whether the Yankees made the right move in dealing for Pineda, who cost the Yankees their top prospect Jesus Montero, a player who most agreed was destined for a stellar big league career.
Perhaps we spoke too soon.
Montero, who has struggled so far in his big league career, was optioned to Triple-A by the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. The 23-year-old is hitting .208 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs, after hitting .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBI last year in his first full season in the majors.
The News Tribune suggests that Seattle may no longer consider Montero to be a full-time catcher (a concern the Yankees had) and will play him at DH and first base at Triple-A.