The 5th starter spot is Pineda’s job to lose

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

Michael Pineda was impressive in his first spring start yesterday afternoon. In 2 2/3 innings against the Orioles, he held them scoreless while striking out 5 of the 11 batters he faced.

Hist fastball settled into the 89-90 mph range, but did hit as high as 92-93 on the radar gun. All signs point to Pineda being 100% healthy and well on his way to winning the 5th starter battle for the Yankees.

Assuming he does win the job, it is unfair to expect to get a full season workload from a pitcher who has missed much of the last 2 seasons. Although the Yankees haven’t presented any formal innings limit on Pineda yet, it is likely the front office has a plan in place.

“Hypothetically, let’s just say he was a starter at some point, you’d have to adjust, because you’re not going to get 200 innings out of him,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “I know they’ve talked about it. I’m sure if it becomes a factor and he’s part of our club, we’re going to have to see how it works.”

Whatever the case may be, The Yankees are all smiles from what Pineda has shown them so far this spring.

Watch the highlights from Pineda’s start below:

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