Twins fans have been begging this front office all offseason to provide a quality starter to add to the trio of Berrios, Gibson and Odorizzi. Those three make a solid opening set for any team, but the fans want a reliable fourth and fifth option too. A player I think most casual Twins fans are forgetting about is Michael Pineda.
Pineda was a sneaky acquisition for the Twins in December 2017 because he had missed the back end of 2017 due to TJ surgery. Before he got hurt, he had thrown 96 innings, an ERA of 4.39, WHIP of 1.287 and a K/9 of 8.6. He definitely isn’t an elite pitcher but he is a solid #3 or 4 starter in almost all rotations. When he’s healthy he will give you a consistent 160-175 innings and a 4.25 ERA, with an upside of a 3.75 or better He could surprise a lot of fans and give good depth to that number four spot in the rotation.
The 6’7″ 260 lb right handed pitcher has three reliable pitches. His most reliable pitch is the 94 MPH cutter, followed by the 86 MPH slider and then the 89 MPH change up. The cutter is one of the better ones when he can stay healthy. It is known for its rising ability and swing and miss break. The slider and change actually get more grounders, and less misses than the cutter. Something coaches and scouts have noted is that whenever Pineda is successful, he throws the cutter over 50% of the time and when he struggles, it is because he is trying to hard with his backup stuff.
The recovery from the TJ surgery shouldn’t hold Pineda back too much, because in August of last year it was looking like he may get some innings in September until he suffered a different setback. Pineda suffered a knee injury so the twins figured it would be better to just shut him down. He actually recovered from the surgery so his arm should be ready to go for the season.
The Twins are hoping they can unlock Pineda’s true potential because when healthy he has proven he can be stellar. Hopefully adding Pineda to the mix behind three other starters, and no longer under the New York City spotlight will help him become the pitcher he can be. Pineda will be another player to play a very key role in how far the twins can go this season. He also has a cool nickname of “Big Mike.” Follow my Twitter for more low quality tweets like this.
Thank you for reading my article on Michael Pineda. I would love to do more interactive articles with fans, so go visit my Twitter and follow me. (@EverydayTwins). If you enjoyed please leave a like and share with your friends. If you disagree or have any questions please leave a comment or ask me on Twitter. Also, Pineda is the guy who smeared pine tar on his neck so that’s cool.