Michael Pineda has breezed through the minor league with a 2.49 ERA and almost a strikeout per inning (396/404). An elbow injury limited his season in 2009 to just 47 innings, but he bounced back last year at the Triple-A level at only age 21. He also throws a slider, but it is his weakest pitch at this point.
Pineda’s repertoire includes a 97 MPH fastball that has topped out at 101 MPH. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and keeps his changeup down in the zone.
This is one big dude. The Dominican native is 6’7″ and 260 and that makes for an intimidating Randy Johson-ish presence on the hill.
The Spring injury to free agent Nate Robertson (he needs elbow surgery) may give Pineda the chance to start the season with the Mariners or spend just 10 days in the minors to keep his arbitration eligibility down for another year. At this point, it looks like Pineda will be Seattle’s # 5 starter, but he has a chance to be the number 2 man behind Felix Hernandez in the not too distant future.
2011 Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Michael Pineda — Michael Pineda is a solid fantasy baseball prospect for 2011. His K/BB ratio in the minors was 4.3. He will also benefit from pitching in friendly Safeco Field. Pineda, however, has not thrown a lot of innings in his career (140 max) and the Mariners don’t figure to compete this season coming off of such a dismal 2010 season. Therefore, fantasy baseball managers should note that it is likely that Pineda’s innings count will be controlled toward the end of the season.
We look for Pineda to start the season in the minors to delay his free agent eligibility from 2016 to 2017. By keeping him down just 10 days, the Mariners will accomplish this. When he comes up, however, we look for Pineda to pitch 150 innings and then be shut down assuming the Mariners are out of the running for the AL West title. Michael Pineda projects to a 10 win pitcher with a 3.80 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 125 strikeouts.