Category: Micael Pineda

The Yankees have avoided arbitration with starters Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova

Michael Pineda pitching at Yankee Stadium

Michael Pineda pitching at Yankee Stadium

The Yankees avoided arbitration with Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova by signing them to one-year contracts in the past week. Nova will be making the same amount of money as he did last season.

Pineda’s one-year, $2.1 million contract for the 2015 season exactly matched MLBTR’s projection. Pineda is coming off of a season where he dominated in his 13 starts with a 1.89 ERA (and 59 strikeouts and only seven walks) in 76.1 innings, but he didn’t pitch for the Yankees between April 23 and August 23 as a result of inflammation in his teres major muscle (shoulder). He proved that he is over his shoulder issues as he allowed two runs or less in eight of his nine starts after being activated from the disabled list.

Pineda proved to be almost un-hittable last season since he was able to seemingly always throw his four-seam fastball (93 mph), slider (85 mph) and change-up (88 mph) where he wanted them to go. The movement on his pitches keeps hitters off balance and he knows when to throw his pitches to get a strikeout or a ball hit weakly.

Nova’s one-year, $3.3 million contract for the 2015 season also matched the MLBTR projection. Nova had to leave his start on April 19 due to an elbow injury, and he would miss the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He was 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA in his four starts. He had his best season statistically in 2013 as he appeared in 23 games and made 20 starts, had an impressive 3.10 ERA, two shutouts, 116 strikeouts, only 44 walks and a career-low 1.28 WHIP.

The Yankees think that he will be able to return to the rotation by June. Nova throws a four-seam fastball (93 mph), sinker (93 mph) and 12-6 curve (80 mph) and a circle change-up (85-88 mph). He relies heavily on his four-seamers against righties and lefties. He will be an asset to the rotation if he can regain control of his pitches shortly after his return to the team. The rotation will currently be Pineda, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Nate Eovaldi, Chris Capuano, and Nova would move Capuano into a relief role when he is healthy.

The Yankees will need Nova to pitch like he did in the 2013 season when he recovers from his Tommy John surgery and for Pineda to stay healthy for the whole season for the first time since 2011 for the team to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.