As spring training continues to wind down, we're going to start seeing a little more how the roles of players on the Yankees' roster will play out. By the end of the week, we should know who will be the Yankees' fifth starter this season.
From the NY Daily News, manager Joe Girardi plans to announce who the fifth starter will be at the end of the week so he can start ironing out the rest of the bullpen.
With that said, I'd be pretty shocked if Michael Pineda doesn't win the job with the impressive pitching he has done this spring as he continues to work back from shoulder surgery. He's going to beat out David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, who have all had good springs as well.
Pineda has made two appearances, in start, so far this spring and hasn't given up a run in the 4.2 innings he's pitched, while striking out nine. Even better than that, he's only walked one, which shows good control early on.
While Masahiro Tanaka was been getting a lot of praise for the way he's looked this spring, Pineda has been highly talked about, too.
His velocity continues to build up -- he's been sitting in the 91-93 range -- which is expected. And his offspeed pitches, especially the slider, have looked very good.
A lot of the decision to have Pineda as the fifth starter would likely come down to who can pitch out of the bullpen, and who can't.
The Yankees had both Phelps and Warren in the bullpen last season, Warren more then Phelps, and both were very solid.
Phelps has had a good spring, with an ERA of 2.63 in four starts. His stuff has also looked good, and the Yankees know that he can pitch out of the bullpen, and even though he would be a good fifth starter, we don't know who well Pineda would pitch out of the bullpen.
Warren has really made himself know this spring with the way he has pitched. A lot like Phelps, he can be a pretty good back-end of the rotation starter in the big leagues, but on this Yankees squad, his stuff is best suited for the bullpen, where he can have a lot of success this season.