Michael Pineda will be ‘big’ for the New York Yankees


Pineda’s importance to the Yankees can’t be overstated.

Michael Pineda impressed in the New York Yankees’ 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Pineda, who started a major league game for the first time since Sept. 21, 2011, yielded only five hits and one run over six solid innings.

“Today was big day for me. My first game for the New York Yankees,” said Pineda, 25, who underwent the knife to fix a torn anterior labral roughly four months after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners in January 2012. “I’ve been waiting two years for this.”

Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda were long entrenched atop New York’s rotation.

However, Pineda earned the final slot in the Yankees’ staff by easily outperforming David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nun this spring.

Pineda, who pitched decently and posted a 3.86 ERA over six outings last summer at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, frequently hit 95 mph on the radar yesterday in Toronto.

A 2011 All-Star, Pineda’s a relative youngster who remains an elite prospect.

New York went 85-77 last season and failed to qualify for the playoffs for only the second time in the wild-card era.

Provided the flamethrower remains healthy and avoids firewater, Pineda, Tanaka, Sabathia, Nova and Kuroda give the Yankees a legitimate quintet of arms.

Seemingly decades removed from capturing their 27th World Series championship, New York will flourish once their batters find success at the plate.

“Waiting two years for this,” expect Michael Pineda to finally shine on One East 161st Street.

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