Pineda to Tacoma

Jay Yencich · June 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

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.

Comments

20 Responses to “Pineda to Tacoma”

  1. joser on June 20th, 2010 4:51 pm

    Yeah, will definitely be interested to hear which game(s) he gets scheduled to start at home in Tacoma. Been planning on going to an R’s game or two this summer and I might as well have a must-see pitcher to plan around.

  2. SonOfZavaras on June 20th, 2010 5:25 pm

    I’m in the same boat as joser. Grew up in Tacoma-area, haven’t been to Cheney in forever and a day.

    I think I’ll plan it around Pineda starts.

  3. Coug1990 on June 20th, 2010 5:53 pm

    Make that three of us. The last time I went to a Rainiers game was to see another Mariners pitching phenom, Ryan Anderson.

    Cannot make it this Wednesday, but I will go to his next home start after this.

  4. ivan on June 20th, 2010 5:58 pm

    The last time I went to a Rainiers game, I saw Bret Hinchliffe. I love Cheney Stadium and minor league ball, but until the PCL changes its policy of not allowing fans to bring their own food into the ballpark, I’m not going.

    I don’t mean to hijack the thread with this, but it’s something I feel strongly about. I’m sure it isn’t for most other people.

  5. spankystout on June 20th, 2010 7:17 pm

    Great news! Hope he puts up similar numbers in Tacoma.

  6. GoldenGutz on June 20th, 2010 7:18 pm

    I think he stays in Tacoma all year and they help him work on his Slider now and throughout ST.

    Shouldn’t he had another pitch? Only 3 for a SP isn’t great. Usually the baseline is like 4. Or does he have a 2-seam and 4-seam FB?

    Unfourtanetly my parents and myself live about 2 hours away so no way am I lucky enough to go see him.

  7. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2010 7:21 pm

    Shouldn’t he had another pitch? Only 3 for a SP isn’t great. Usually the baseline is like 4. Or does he have a 2-seam and 4-seam FB?

    He has two-seam and four-seam fastballs. Normal heater is what I listed above, cutter is mid-to-high-80s.

  8. SonOfZavaras on June 20th, 2010 7:22 pm

    I remember Brett Hinchliffe- tall drink o’ water with stuff that was a tick above average.

    Thing I remember most was one time he deliberately hit a dude in retaliation for Junior getting plunked.

    I’m enthused about Pineda- when I saw him in spring training, kid looked like he’d filled out a ton- especially in the lower half.

    Pineda the surprise addition to the starting staff in 2011. Make it happen, Michael!!

  9. GoldenGutz on June 20th, 2010 7:55 pm

    So Jay he has a 2-seam,4-seam,cutter, change and slider?

    I’ve heard his Slider is sometimes mistaken for a cutter so I just wanted to make sure I know what pitches he is throwing.

  10. BillyBoy on June 20th, 2010 7:58 pm

    It will be great to see Michael again. They listed him at 243 pounds in the 2010 Information Guide. I see where Davish has him listed under 200?
    This young man is a HORSE. Hope he thrives with the Rainiers.

  11. MKT on June 20th, 2010 8:40 pm

    Joining the “the last time I went to a Rainiers game” bandwagon: the last time I went to a Rainiers game, I saw Alex Rodriguez! Got a foul ball too (didn’t catch it, it fell a row or two in front of me and rattled around so I reached down and got it).

  12. Jay Yencich on June 20th, 2010 8:48 pm

    I think that the information I have on the cutter is just that, considering how high it was clocked.

  13. G-Man on June 20th, 2010 10:44 pm

    I thought plenty of starters had 3 pitches.

  14. henryv on June 20th, 2010 11:17 pm

    Best news I’ve heard all year.

    I thought plenty of starters had 3 pitches.

    Clemens, Randy Johnson… Basically nobodies. :)

    Plus, Pineda probably has 4.

  15. Westside guy on June 20th, 2010 11:45 pm

    I thought plenty of starters had 3 pitches.

    Heck, there’s a guy who’s doing really well with the Cubs this year, and started for us parts of the past two seasons – he basically had ONE pitch, at least while he was a Mariner.

  16. mwinkel on June 21st, 2010 9:25 am

    That is incorrect. Mr. Silva also had 3 pitches in his arsenal. Suck Pitch 1…Suck Pitch 2…and my personal favorite, suck pitch numero tres

  17. joser on June 21st, 2010 11:14 am

    Well, the last (and first) time I went to Cheney it was to see this kid who was being called “King” by some people in their parents’ basements. I actually went to two or three of his starts right before he got called up.

    until the PCL changes its policy of not allowing fans to bring their own food into the ballpark, I’m not going.

    I didn’t even know they had that policy. I’m pretty sure I carried a powerbar in in my pocket, though I’m not sure I ate it. I have a bigger problem with Safeco’s “no outside drinks” policy because I’d love to be able to bring a Thermos of Top Pot from home to keep my hands from going numb as I freeze my ass off (which has been my experience at every night game I’ve ever gone to at Safeco, including in July and August). My biggest problem with Cheney is just fighting the afternoon traffic to get there on a weekday.

    Getting back to Pineda: what kind of pitch count limits is he likely to be on? It looks like he threw 47 total innings last year, and he’s already thrown 77 for West Tenn. I assume they’ll be limiting his starts, but is it likely he’ll get shut down altogether? If they want to give him a cup of coffee with the M’s in September, I imagine he’ll be riding the pine for most of it beyond a token inning or two.

  18. Jay Yencich on June 21st, 2010 3:47 pm

    Getting back to Pineda: what kind of pitch count limits is he likely to be on? It looks like he threw 47 total innings last year, and he’s already thrown 77 for West Tenn. I assume they’ll be limiting his starts, but is it likely he’ll get shut down altogether? If they want to give him a cup of coffee with the M’s in September, I imagine he’ll be riding the pine for most of it beyond a token inning or two.

    I would hope so. Before last year’s 47.1, he threw 138.1 when his previous high had been 59.0. We’re past that mark now, but in the greater scheme of things, I just don’t see the purpose in pushing him hard right now, in this context.

    He hasn’t really topped 100 pitches that I’ve seen and a few times he’s gone six innings and they’ve kept him under 80.

  19. GoldenGutz on June 21st, 2010 4:51 pm

    So not only can he K people but he can do it fast and effectively.

    Any comparisons?

  20. SonOfZavaras on June 21st, 2010 9:16 pm

    So not only can he K people but he can do it fast and effectively.

    Any comparisons?

    He’s a bit taller, but Pineda reminds me a bit of former Toronto starter Juan Guzman.

    Same “80%-of-my-body-weight-is-in-my-butt-and-legs” sort of build. Same electric life to fastball.

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