Results tagged ‘ Pineda ’

A little more on the AL Rookie of the Month

I think that I noted this somewhere, but to give him his proper due:

Michael Pineda, American League Rookie of the Month for April.

Pineda was a little blown away by the award. He had a big smile on his face.

“It’s pretty good,” he said. “I’m excited because rookie of the month is … oh wow.”

Pineda was told by several teammates, his agent and Mariners media specialist Fernando Alcala.

and there’s this:
He won each of his last four starts in April, becoming just the fifth rookie pitcher in modern Major League history (since 1900) to win four consecutive starts in one season before the end of April. He joins Monte Weaver (1932 Washington Senators), Jerry Koosman (1968 New York Mets), Fernando Valenzuela (1981 Los Angeles Dodgers – five in a row) and Kaz Ishii (2002 Los Angeles Dodgers – five in a row).
Another note: Pineda was the 3rd youngest player on an American League Opening Day Roster.

Today in Timber Rattlers history: May 3, 2008

Brought to you by Rasmussen College

May 3, 2008

Timber Rattlers win 5-2 in Lansing.

The reason this is notable today is due to the starting pitcher on that day at Oldsmobile Park.

A younger, skinnier, Michael Pineda took to the hill and…

He pitched 5-1/3 innings and struck out a career high seven batters while walking only one.

Pineda….Whatever happened to him?  Perhaps this ESPN article from a few days ago will let us know.

Throwing a high 90s fastball — which he isn’t at all afraid to throw in tight — Pineda just finished his first month in the majors with a 4-1 record, a 2.01 ERA (fourth in the league) and 30 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .198. He struck out the first four batters in Thursday’s 7-2 victory over Detroit, including Miguel Cabrera on an 84 mph slider that followed several fastballs touching 97 and 98. “He’s not afraid to throw the ball,” catcher Miguel Olivo told reporters. “No matter who’s hitting, he just goes and gets him.”

And in perhaps his most personally rewarding feat of April, the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic aced his American driving test on the first attempt last week. Now all he needs is a car. Or maybe not. Pineda rides to work with Mariners bullpen coach Jaime Navarro, with whom he shares an apartment in a southeast Seattle suburb.

Navarro says Pineda approached him about living arrangements in Seattle after making the team at the end of spring training. “He said, ‘I don’t have a place yet but would you mind if I live with you until I find a place? I’ll live with you and relax and be myself. I trust you more than anybody else and I have someone I can count on.”’

“That’s my daddy in America,” Pineda said of Navarro. “I had him my first year in America. On the field, outside the field, he helps me all the time. … Jaime says, ‘If you want to go out, go shopping, the car is here. Go ahead.’ Thank you, thank you. He’s a pretty good guy.”

It isn’t every landlord who provides transportation, cable and advice on how to grip a slider.

Scott Robinson hit a two-run homer and Eddy Hernandez drove in two runs for that game in Lansing three years ago today.  That was enough for the Rattlers to get the victory in the game and take two out of three from the Lugnuts in Lansing.

Brewers 5, Mariners 4

The Bucks went into overtime last night and I was out like a light before the Brewers-Mariners game showed up on TV.  (I suppose I need to start training to stay up a bit later before the start of the season. Don’t want to drop off on the air during an early April night game).

Milwaukee 5 @ Seattle 4 in Cactus League action last night.

Ex-Rattlers in the game:

Brewers:
Martin Maldonado (’09): 1-for-1

Mariners:
Michael Pineda (’08): 4IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 3K
Matt Tuiasosopo (’05): 0-for-1
Michael Saunders (’06): 0-for-1

Speaking of Pineda:

The Mariners are hoping to have Michael Pineda make their starting five coming out of spring training and a big part of that will be his ability to command his secondary pitches.

Pineda had a rough start tonight, but his slider was working throughout his four innings and his change-up really improved over his latter two frames.

“He was up a little bit, but more importantly he got back down,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “The way he was using his secondary stuff, it was as good as we’ve seen it all spring.”

Wedge said Pineda’s change-up versus lefties is a good pitch for him.

“It’s something where he continues to gain more and more confidence with it,” Wedge said.

So, what was most improved about it tonight?

“You just look at the swings,” he said. “You look at the reaction of hitters. Hitters can always tell you so much. You look at whether they’re taking a pitch, or whether they’re swinging, or maybe just a little reaction up there. I think we saw all that tonight with Michael.”

Speaking of Pineda

This story from the Seattle Times seems to point Pineda to the Seattle rotation:

One of the more exciting rookie pitchers to come the Mariners’ way in years should be in uniform on opening day.

At least, that’s currently the plan for young Mariners flamethrower Michael Pineda, who has dazzled the team here with high-90s fastballs and his composure on the mound. Team sources indicated Monday that, in the wake of announcing that left-handed starter Nate Robertson will undergo elbow surgery and be out until June, the final rotation spot is Pineda’s to lose.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik declined to confirm or deny any suggestion that Pineda is the front-runner for the job. But Zduriencik did say service-time issues will not stand in the way of any young player making the team if they clearly earn their spot.

“We’ve got two more weeks to figure things out,” Zduriencik said after his Mariners extended their unbeaten streak to eight games with a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs at Peoria Stadium.

That Brewers-M’s game may be worth checking out on Wednesday night. If only for this fact: When Pineda was on the Opening Day Roster for the Timber Rattlers in 2008, he was 6′-5″ and weighed in at 180. This page has Pineda at 6′-7″…260.

Pineda and Hernandez

A couple of former Timber Rattlers got into action for the Mariners yesterday.

First, the story on Felix Hernandez (’03)

This wasn’t exactly how Felix Hernandez expected life as a reigning Cy Young winner to begin.

There Hernandez was, on the second pitch of his first live action since being voted the American League’s best pitcher in 2010, sprawled on the ground, forced to hit the deck.

“I was like, ‘Wow, first game, man? You’ve got to do that?’ ” Hernandez said he told Oakland leadoff hitter David DeJesus, who singled hard up the middle. “It was scary.”

But Hernandez survived to tell the tale with a smile, and while there were a few other slight wobbles throughout his 2-2/3 innings, he pronounced his first game of 2011 a success.

“It was fun,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve pitched in a big-league game and I felt pretty good, throwing a lot of strikes, down in the zone. Breaking ball was good too, feel pretty good now.”
Then, Larry Stone recaps the day for Michael Pineda (’08) with a little help from former Rattlers pitching coach Jaime Navarro.

It was hard not to envision a day in the future — perhaps the not-so-distant future, for the most ardent dreamers — when the Mariners might have not one, but two dominating pitchers in their rotation.

Pineda is still raw, not yet two months past his 22nd birthday. Yet he exudes potential, from the huge frame to the electric stuff. Before the game, Jaime Navarro, the Mariners’ new bullpen coach, dared to say what many were thinking Monday as Hernandez and Pineda were showcased back-to-back in Seattle’s 6-3 victory at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

“You have Fifi (Hernandez) and you have Michael, who can become a great pitcher,” Navarro said. “That will be beautiful to watch. That will be one of my best days, seeing those two guys together.”

Navarro, as much as anyone, has witnessed firsthand the growth and nurturing of Pineda since his signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2005 at age 16.

Navarro was his pitching coach at Class A Wisconsin in 2008, Pineda’s first year in the United States. They were together again in 2009 at High Desert in the Class A California League.

When Pineda was elevated to Tacoma in 2010 after destroying Class AA competition (8-1, 2.22 earned-run average, 78 strikeouts in 77 innings for West Tennessee), Navarro — by then the Rainiers’ pitching coach — witnessed Pineda’s dazzling AAA debut as he blanked Salt Lake on one hit over six innings.

“From day one, I saw something in that kid not too many pitchers have,” Navarro said. “With Michael, it’s just a matter of time. He’s getting mature, getting comfortable. He’s going to be one of those guys — another Hernandez. It’s just a matter of how he’s going to handle it.”

I have the feeling that Pineda may be the next former Timber Rattlers player to make his major league debut.

Pineda gets some press

Former Timber Rattlers pitcher Michael Pineda (’08) is one of the top prospects in baseball.  USA Today takes a look at why.

The Michael Pineda watch began in earnest last spring. He was just a kid getting a few innings of work late in a couple of spring games.

Fellow Seattle Mariners prospect Dustin Ackley sure took notice. “He’s unbelievable,” Ackley said of the imposing pitching prospect who is ranked No. 4 among our 100 Names You Need to Know.

Pineda, 22, could be No. 2 in the Seattle rotation by the end of this season.

“There’s a spot in the rotation for him,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik says.

Is he another Felix Hernandez, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and Seattle ace? Not yet.

As for the pertinent numbers on Pineda, who was signed in 2005 in the Dominican Republic as a 180-pound 16-year-old, try 6-5, 245 and 100. In other words, he’s filled out that frame growing up in the Mariners system and, yes, he can hit 100 mph.

Lawrie is #5

Baseball America released their Top 20 Prospects for the Southern League on Thursday.  Ex-Rattlers second baseman Brett Lawrie was #5.

Two other Ex-Rattlers made the list.  Michael Pineda (’08) of the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx was #3.  Pineda’s West Tennessee teammate Alex Liddi (’06, ’07, ’08) made the list at #16.

A bit from behind the subscriber wall:

Aside from [#1 prospect Mike] Stanton, no SL prospect excited scouts and managers alike as
much as Pineda. He throws in the upper 90s from his first pitch and
maintains his velocity throughout a game.

Yet, some scouts seem him as more of a closer than a starting pitcher.

Like [Dan] Uggla, Lawrie is a strong, aggressive hitter with a big swing. He
has a quick bat that stays in the hitting zone for a long time, and
balls carry well off his bat. While he’s prone to chasing pitches out of
the zone, he also has shown the ability to make adjustments during
at-bats and series.

Some scouts see him as a corner outfielder at the upper levels.

Liddi’s numbers were bound to take a hit after he played at hospitable
High Desert in the hitter-friendly California League last year. A career
.244/.311/.372 hitter entering 2009, he led the minors in hitting while
batting .345/.411/.594. He legitimized himself as a prospect with a
solid 2010 season at West Tenn, leading the league with 92 RBIs.

Possible move to first base at the next level? BA and scouts don’t like it.

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