Michael Pineda
Michael Pineda
30-Year-Old PitcherSP
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Pineda spent last year working his way back from July 2017 Tommy John surgery. He made four minor-league rehab outings before requiring surgery for a torn right meniscus at the end of August. The Twins signed him to a two-year deal before the 2018 season with plans to have him enter the rotation in 2019 after a year of rehab. Pineda offers good velocity and strong strikeout rates (8.6 K/9 in 2017) but has been plagued by the long ball. A healthy return of Byron Buxton and Minnesota's outstanding 2017 outfield defense could work wonders for his profile. He's expected to be fully healthy after knee surgery, but the lack of rehab innings could put him behind in spring training and he seems unlikely to approach 150 innings in his first full year back. The Twins will make every effort to have him begin the season in the rotation, and if they fall out of contention, they could flip him to a contender this summer. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Twins in December of 2017.
Surrenders two homers
PMinnesota Twins
April 18, 2019
Pineda (2-1) allowed six runs on seven hits (including two home runs) with just one strikeout and a walk in 3.2 innings during a loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday.
The Twins spotted Pineda a lead, but he gave up two homers in the first four innings. He gave up a bases-clearing double in the fourth as well, which ended his afternoon. Pineda is experiencing some issues keeping the ball in the yard, as he's allowed four homers through four starts this season. That's the biggest reason why he owns a 5.30 ERA. He is also 2-1 with a 1.23 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. His next start is expected to be on the road against the Astros.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
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BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .251 216 51 13 50 7 0 11
Since 2017vs Right .285 270 57 11 73 12 0 13
2019vs Left .242 34 7 1 8 1 0 2
2019vs Right .308 42 9 2 12 4 0 2
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .253 182 44 12 42 6 0 9
2017vs Right .281 228 48 9 61 8 0 11
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
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ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 3.98 1.16 72.1 7 3 0 9.2 1.7 1.6
Since 2017Away 5.48 1.48 42.2 3 2 0 7.2 2.1 2.3
2019Home 5.93 1.32 13.2 1 1 0 7.2 1.3 2.0
2019Away 3.60 1.00 5.0 1 0 0 9.0 1.8 1.8
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 3.53 1.13 58.2 6 2 0 9.7 1.8 1.5
2017Away 5.73 1.54 37.2 2 2 0 6.9 2.2 2.4
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Stat Review
How does Michael Pineda compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
92.1 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Like many hurlers, Pineda fell victim to the wave of uppercut swings, as his home run rate rose despite working down in the zone. Unfortunately, his season was cut short after 17 starts and 96.2 innings, so he never got the chance to adjust, like his teammate Masahiro Tanaka. Pineda had Tommy John surgery in mid-July, putting him on the shelf for most, if not all of 2018. Likely not a coincidence, Pineda incurred a pair of three-homer games in the three he pitched before going under the knife. Before getting hurt, Pineda's swinging-strike rate reverted to career levels, suggesting that 2016 was the outlier. His walk rate also reverted to its usual stingy level. The Twins signed him to a two-year deal this offseason, which will give Pineda short-term stability while giving the Twins a shot at an affordable, high-upside starter with something to prove in 2019. The safe play is ignoring Pineda entirely in 2018 in single-season leagues, as a return before September would be surprising, and even if he makes it back, he would be handled with kid gloves.
Another year, another maddeningly frustrating season for Pineda: His overpowering stuff helped him post an American-League-leading 10.61 K/9 as he eclipsed the 200-strikeout mark for the first time. Aside from that, however, he suffered through the worst season of his brief career. Some factors -- such as an AL-high .339 BABIP and a FIP (3.80) more than a full run lower than his ERA -- suggest bad luck was partly to blame, but he suffered a similarly poor fate in those departments in 2015 as well. Home runs remained an issue, as Pineda served up a personal-worst 27 long balls, and he also saw his walk rate spike for the third year in a row, albeit to a still acceptable 2.72 BB/9. He'll get another look in the middle of the Yankees rotation in 2017, and when he's at his best he is a dominating force on the mound. Unfortunately, until Pineda can prove himself to be a more consistent and reliable pitcher, he'll be a big gamble for fantasy owners.
Pineda held most of his incredible walk rate from 2014 while also spiking his strikeouts by three percentage points and set a career high in groundballs, which should have resulted in a darn good season. Maybe something like his 2011 and 2014 smashed together (3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 8.4 K/9). Instead, it was his worst season yet. A major HR issue at home (1.6 HR/9) and way too many hits on the road (10.5 H/9, .363 BABIP) sank his season. His season was a graduate-level course on control vs. command. He threw strikes, but really hittable ones. His .904 OPS in the middle third of the zone (including pitches outside of the strike zone, too) was eighth-worst among SPs with 27-plus starts. There are flaws here and injury risk, but getting a 7.4 K/BB in a double-digit round doesn't happen often, so cost mitigates a good portion of that risk and makes him a worthy gamble. At worst, he's a road-only streamer as that ridiculous BABIP will come down.
After a brilliant MLB debut, Pineda was dealt to the Yankees in early 2012 in an intriguing challenge trade that sent Jesus Montero to Seattle. Pineda then missed the next two seasons before finally working his way back to make his Yankee debut in 2014. He got off to an incredible start, with just a 1.00 ERA in his first three starts, before the Pine Tar Incident in Boston. He went out to the mound with four pounds of it slathered on his neck and was eventually caught after allowing two runs on four hits in just an inning and two-thirds. His suspension ended up not mattering because injury once again struck and cost him three and a half months of time. He finally returned in mid-August and got right back on track, allowing two or fewer runs in eight of his final nine starts. Pineda lacked the dominance we saw in his rookie season, but his command and control were impeccable. Unfortunately, with just 76 innings of work, he remains a severe health risk, but at least we were able to see him perform at a high level, so the fear of skills erosion after two years off has faded.
The much-hyped trade of Jesus Montero for Pineda has not worked out for either team at this point. With Pineda, the issue has been injury rather than skill degradation, and while it's hard to get excited about a pitcher that has missed two full years with shoulder troubles, Pineda is still just 25, and could very well bounce back with the electric stuff that made him so exciting to watch back in 2011. In his return from injury, Pineda made 10 starts over three levels in the minors last season, carrying a 10.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 over 23.1 innings at Triple-A. The poor track record of health makes him something of a lottery ticket, but the payoff could prove to be a big one if he's able to return to something resembling his pre-injury form at the big league level this season.
The trade of Pineda for Jesus Montero was a huge topic last offseason, but things started to go downhill for Pineda right from the moment he became a Yankee. Not only does Pineda have a shoulder injury that kept him out for all of 2012 and will sideline him for at least half of 2013 as well, but he also had a DUI in August. It's too soon to know whether the dominant stuff we saw in 2011 will come back after the injury, but Pineda is still just 24, and is definitely worth a flyer if you can find a fill-in for the first half.
Pineda turned in a rousing rookie season last year, highlighted by a trip to the All-Star Game. His 9.22 K/9IP ranked second in the American League and he led rookie pitchers in strikeouts as he overpowered batters with a fastball that averaged 94.6 mph, fourth highest in baseball. In fact, his 26.0 missed-swing percentage was third in the AL. The popular theory that Pineda's 5.12 second-half ERA was a result of tiring down the stretch probably got a little more play than it merited. Pineda got hammered in three second-half starts (two of which came in mid-July), which bloated his ERA; his remaining ERA was 3.40, not far off his first-half pace. (He was also on an innings limit that kept him from going deep into games in the second half and leveling out his ERA.) Importantly, his strikeout and walk rates remained consistent (the K/9IP was actually up a few ticks), and his batting average against was still only .236. In addition to his mid-to-upper-90s fastball, Pineda features a nasty slider and a change-up that by year's end had developed into a weapon that helped him neutralize left-handers. This season, he'll likely be allowed to go deeper into games and to approach 200 innings. However, he'll go from a pitchers' park to a hitters' park after his trade to the Yankees and pitch more games in the AL East. His ERA and WHIP may take a hit, but he should be a mainstay in the Yankees rotation for many years.
The organization's top prospect, Pineda enters spring training with a rotation spot all but assured. He dominated last season at Double-A and Triple-A, totaling 154 strikeouts in 139.1 innings. He walked just 34 for a 2.2 BB/9IP and a 4.5 K/BB. Pineda's fastball has good sinking action, and he improved the velocity last season, pitching in the mid-to-upper 90s. He also has a very good changeup and a developing slider. Pineda missed much of 2009 with an elbow injury, and the Mariners shut him down early last season and probably will have him on an innings limit this season. If the Mariners don't keep him at Triple-A to delay his service clock, expect him to break camp in the Seattle rotation.
More Fantasy News
Notches second win
PMinnesota Twins
April 13, 2019
Pineda (2-0) earned his second victory by pitching six innings Saturday against the Tigers, allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
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Moved back to Saturday
PMinnesota Twins
April 11, 2019
Pineda is scheduled to make his next start Saturday against the Tigers.
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Friday's start postponed
PMinnesota Twins
April 11, 2019
Pineda won't make his scheduled start Friday against the Tigers after the game was postponed due to inclement weather.
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Earns win with five strong innings
PMinnesota Twins
April 6, 2019
Pineda (1-0) earned the win against the Phillies on Saturday by allowing two runs on four hits across five innings. He struck out five and walked one.
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Strong in brief outing
PMinnesota Twins
March 31, 2019
Pineda allowed a hit and a walk and struck out five over four scoreless innings Sunday against the Indians. He didn't factor into the decision.
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