Michael Pineda Signs with Minnesota Twins

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees in action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 7-6. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

According to reports, free agent starting pitcher Michael Pineda has signed a two-year deal with the Minnesota Twins for $10 million. He’ll be a Twin through the 2019 season.

Michael Pineda Signs with Minnesota Twins

Pineda, who turns/turned 29 in January, had his 2017 season with the Yankees cut short due to Tommy John surgery. He ended the year with an 8-4 record and 4.39 ERA. He also tallied the highest HR/9 of his career, at 1.9 homers per nine innings.

It was just another continuation of Pineda’s topsy-turvy, Jekyll and Hyde career. He was acquired by the Yankees in what was billed as a high-quality prospect swap, though neither player panned out for their respective teams.

What Pineda Brings to the Table

Pineda, in five seasons in New York, racked up a record of 31-31, a 4.16 ERA, and a K/9 of 9.1. While his talent has been apparent since his lone season in Seattle, he has been unable to turn solid stuff into consistent performance on the major league level.

His fastball typically hovers in the mid to high 90s, while his slider is his main strikeout pitch. Where Pineda struggles is leaving the ball up in the strike zone and getting out of innings.

A major weakness of Pineda’s was preventing two-out rallies. Through his 17 starts in 2017, he improved upon getting the third out, but still couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark.

Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit Pineda, especially since Yankees Stadium is far from a pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Outlook

The move is an interesting one by the Twins as Pineda is expected to miss much of 2018 as he recovers and rehabs from Tommy John surgery. If Pineda is able to return to form for 2019, the deal will work out okay. However, it is an intriguing roll of the dice on an up-and-down pitcher working through TJ.

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