Pineda to Tacoma
I could have held off until tomorrow, but it might as well be mentioned now that RHP Michael Pineda is in Tacoma according to Mike Curto and will be taking the mound in the Salt Lake City series.
From a practical standpoint, it makes sense because the Rainiers are going to be playing six games in a four-day span thanks to some earlier weather cancellations. We can also justify it from the Mariners’ perspective because the first half is over for the D-Jaxx and Pineda will probably be part of the team’s near-term future, so they might as well keep a close eye on him and give the local fans a taste of what’s to come. If it all goes well for him and he doesn’t run into any trouble or pass any alarming innings milestones, there’s a chance he makes a few appearances with the Mariners in September, since he needs to be added to the 40-man in the offseason.
From a fan standpoint, you should all go see him. Pineda is the best starting prospect we have in the system by a pretty good margin. He throws a low-to-mid 90s fastball, has a good grasp of what do with his change-up (though he doesn’t use it enough), and even without a tremendous slider, he was still leading the D-Jaxx with 78 Ks in 77.0 innings. His command is so good that he’s only walked four in 26.2 innings this month. When he’s healthy, he’s really, really good.
Since he started on Friday, the usual five-day rest schedule would put him on pace to take the mound again on Wednesday, barring any decisions on the Rainiers’ part to throw him in for one of the doubleheaders to lower expectations in his first outing. I’ll keep you posted if that changes any.