Results tagged ‘ Jesus Montero ’
The door keeps revolving in the Yankees’ clubhouse. Pitcher Dellin Betances was the latest arrival from Triple A Scranton for Thursday night’s series finale against the Mariners. The righthander was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts and two relief appearances totaling 28 1/3 innings.
Heading back to Scranton was pitcher Brett Marshall, who made his major-league debut in Wednesday night’s 12-2 loss to Seattle. The righthander threw 108 pitches and allowed five earned runs, nine hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings but was praised by manager Joe Girardi for saving the bullpen. Marshall deserves credit for taking one for the team in taking punishment to keep the relief corps from having to toil in a lopsided loss.
Betances was the choice for promotion because Marshall would not be available to pitch for at least four days. Adam Warren pitched four innings only three days ago, so the Yankees need a middle-innings reliever who can give them some length. Girardi said that Betances was the most stretched-out of the pitchers at Scranton.
Marshall was one of five players to make their major-league debuts for the Yankees in the first 40 games. The others were pitchers Preston Claiborne and Vidal Nuno and infielders David Adams and Corban Joseph. The Elias Sports Bureau points out that the previous time as many as five players made their big-league debuts with the Yankees within the club’s first 40 games was in 1995 – pitchers Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Brian Boehringer and Jeff Patterson and shortstop Derek Jeter.
Adams, who also played in his first major-league game Wednesday night on his 26th birthday, was only the fourth player in 95 seasons to get a hit in his first game on his birthday. The others were the Cleveland Indians’ Dave Clark Sept. 3, 1986 at Toronto, the Atlanta Braves’ Bruce Benedict Aug. 18, 1978 at St. Louis and the Washington Senators’ Sept. 13, 1939 in the second game of a doubleheader at Chicago, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Another familiar face Thursday night was that of Mariners starter Hector Noesi, who pitched for the Yankees in 2011 and was traded with catcher Jesus Montero to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda, who has yet to pitch for the Yankees. Montero was Noesi’s catcher Thursday night.
The Blue Jays come to Yankee Stadium Friday night to open a three-game series. Probable starting pitchers: Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 2.31) vs. Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.19) at 7:05 p.m. Friday on Channel 9, David Phelps (1-2, 4.33) vs. Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.69) at 1:05 p.m. Saturday on YES and CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.19) vs. R.A. Dickey (3-5, 4.83) at 1:05 p.m. on YES. All games are on WCBS Radio (880 AM).
Sunday’s matchup will mark the third time this season that Sabathia, the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner, will be paired against a fellow recipient of that honor. The other games were April 7 against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (2011), a 7-0 Yankees victory at Detroit, and May 14 (Tuesday night) against the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2010), a 4-3 Yanks victory at the Stadium. CC got the victory over Detroit and a no-decision against Seattle. Dickey was the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Mets and was traded to the Blue Jays.
The only good thing the Yankees could say about the top of the first inning Wednesday night is that they still had 27 outs to try and get back into the game. Man, was that one ugly frame.
Many folks were still walking to the seats while the Mariners were running all around the bases on the way to a 7-0 lead that they gave to starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, the former Japanese Olympics and Pacific League star who has gotten off to a great start here in the U.S. (4-1, 1.74 ERA).
Yankees starter Phil Hughes could not get into a rhythm and was gone before the lengthy inning was over. Seven consecutive Seattle batters reached base at one point, four of whom scored on one swing, a familiar swing at that, by Raul Ibanez, who crushed a 0-1 fastball to right-center for his fifth home run of the season and second in this series. In his first five at-bats in his return to Yankee Stadium since last October’s postseason heroics, Ibanez has wounded his former team with two home runs and six RBI.
Hughes had no command of his breaking pitches and was forced to rely on his fastball, which the Seattle hitters knew was coming since nothing else was working for the righthander. A one-out walk to Dustin Ackley got the rally started and was followed by three singles that produced two runs and another walk before Ibanez lowered the boom.
Home runs tend to be rally killers, but not this time. Former Yankees prospect Jesus Montero joined Ibanez in haunting the Yankees with a single. After a fielder’s choice, Michael Saunders chased Hughes with a run-scoring double. Fans were none too kind to Hughes, whose ERA rose to 5.88, as he walked to the dugout. The fans’ attitude improved when reliever Preston Claiborne ended the inning with a strikeout.
This was a stunning development considering that the Mariners rank next to last in the American League in team batting average and runs scored. Seven runs are often the most they can score in a whole series let alone one inning.
It was also a wild start in a major-league debut of David Adams, the starting third baseman who was called up by the Yankees from Scranton. Chris Nelson was optioned to the Triple A affiliate to make room on the 25-man roster for Adams, who turned 26 Wednesday. That’s some birthday present.
It was Mariners Alumni Day at Yankee Stadium Sunday. Three players who spent much of their careers in Seattle were at the forefront of the Yankees’ 6-2 victory over their former team that avoided a third straight losing series at home.
Freddy Garcia gutted through the excessive humidity to pitch five serviceable innings and earn his 150th career victory (against 100 losses), a .600 winning percentage that is quite enviable. Garcia posted a 76-50 record with a 3.89 ERA in six seasons with the Mariners.
Raul Ibanez provided sufficient support with his 15th home run in the fifth inning and a two-run single in the sixth. Ibanez had two separate five-year stints with the Mariners and hit .284 with 127 home runs. He is batting .303 with three home runs in 66 at-bats as a designated hitter.
Ichiro Suzuki, who had 10 seasons of 200 or more hits in 11-plus seasons with the Mariners, extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a sun-aided double and also reached base by getting hit with a pitch.
Conversely, both Seattle runs were driven in by a Yankees alumnus, catcher Jesus Montero.
Garcia did not come close to matching the game his fellow Venezuelan, Mariners righthander Felix Hernandez, pitched against the Yankees Saturday, a two-hit shutout, but you can be sure that King Felix was impressed with the grittiness displayed by his mentor and boyhood idol.
“Hopefully, more are coming,” Garcia said of his victory total.
Don’t be surprised if there are. The veteran righthander has filled a void in the rotation since Andy Pettitte fractured his left fibula. In seven starts since getting a second shot in the rotation, Freddy is 3-3 with a 3.95 ERA and 5-5 with a 5.00 ERA overall. Oh, sure, the numbers are not extraordinary, but any manager will take that from a fifth starter.
“Freddy has kept us every game,” manager Joe Girardi said, “and we haven’t scored a lot of runs for him.”
Sunday was the first time in the past eight starts that the Yankees scored more than three runs with Garcia on the mound.
“I didn’t do the job early in the season and was sent to the bullpen,” Garcia said. “I tried to do everything I could to contribute. I pitched okay, and I got a second chance.”
Suzuki remembered a different Garcia when they were teammates at Seattle, a hard thrower who regularly rang up 95 or 96 miles per hour on the jugs gun. A couple of surgeries later, his right arm has changed.
“I think he was able to win as many as 150 games because he made the adjustments he had to make because of the changes in his arm,” Ichiro said. “That is why he has had a long career.”
Suzuki got a gift double when Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders lost his fly ball in the sun in the seventh inning. The 12-game hitting streak matches the franchise record for a player at the start of his term with the Yankees that was established in 1988 by Don Slaught, a catcher that the Yankees had acquired from the Rangers.
Ichiro knew what Saunders was going through. The outfield, especially left field, is treacherous on mid- and late-summer day games. Suzuki himself struggled to catch a fly ball by Kyle Seager in left field for the third out of the third inning.
“I haven’t played left field in all the American League parks yet,” Suzuki said, “but I don’t know if another place can be harder to play than here in the daytime.”
Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano combined for four hitless innings following Garcia. The run Derek Jeter scored in the first inning on an infield hit by Mark Teixeira was career No. 1,830 to tie Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for 14th place on the all-time list. DJ hit .342 in 38 at-bats on the homestand to raise his season average to .314.
Tuesday night’s matchup between Venezuelan-born pitchers Freddy Garcia of the Yankees and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners was a draw as far as I am concerned.
True, the Mariners were ahead when Garcia left the game after he got the first out of the eighth inning, so technically his protégé, Hernandez, had the upper hand. Yet Freddy held his own in his longest outing of the season.
Both pitched 7 1/3 innings, but there were elements of the game in which Garcia was better than Hernandez despite the story the scoreboard told, which was 4-2 Mariners with Hernandez the winning pitcher and Garcia the loser. Hernandez gave up only four hits to Garcia’s five, but Freddy had eight strikeouts to his opponent’s four and did not walk a batter while King Felix walked three batters and hit three others.
Hernandez, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner, grew up idolizing Garcia and broke in with Seattle in 2005, the year after Freddy was traded from the Mariners to the White Sox. Hernandez switched his uniform No. 59 the next year to No. 34, which Garcia had worn for five-plus seasons with the Mariners. Freddy wears No. 36 with the Yankees. Their relationship borders on big brother and little brother, but they were competitive foes for the first time Tuesday night.
Each gave up a home run to the second batter he faced. Curtis Granderson belted a first-pitch fastball from Hernandez for his 26th home run in the first inning. Michael Saunders did likewise off a 1-1 fastball in the bottom half.
What proved the winning rally, a two-run third inning for the Mariners, was not exactly filled with smashing hits. Brendan Ryan began it with a single that hit off Garcia’s left heel. Saunders got a well-struck single to right, and Ryan challenged Ichiro Suzuki’s arm in successfully getting to third base.
Jesus Montero’s tiebreaking single was a broken-bat, duck snort to right field. John Jaso’s sacrifice fly made the score 3-1 Seattle, but that was also the first of 15 consecutive outs for Garcia through the first out of the eighth. The Yankees had moved to 3-2 on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly in the eighth, but the Mariners scratched for a run on three walks and an infield hit against four Yankees relievers.
Hernandez is on a roll. Over his past seven starts, he is 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA in 53 1/3 innings. Perhaps because he was hit in the midsection by an Eric Chavez line drive in the second, King Felix fell off his game somewhat. He hit Suzuki with a pitch in the seventh and plunked Derek Jeter to start the eighth.
The most damaged of the hit batters was Alex Rodriguez, who suffered a fractured left hand. A-Rod was in considerable pain and writhed on the ground after being struck by an 88-mile-per-hour changeup. Manager Joe Girardi removed him from the game immediately. The timing of the injury is terrible. Rodriguez had heated up in July, batting .315 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and nine RBI in 73 at-bats and was batting .391 with four runs, two doubles, one home run and three RBI in 23 at-bats on the West Coast trip.
A sound Phil Hughes hasn’t heard much this year at Yankee Stadium welcomed him as he walked off the mound Saturday in the eighth inning. He had come within an infield hit and an outfield flare of making it through that frame for the first time all year. Yankees manager Joe Girardi figured at 112 pitches Hughes was spent, but his effort against the Mariners was well-spent, indeed.
The Stadium crowd of 43,954 certainly appreciated Hughes’ solid work, a sort of game he had so often in his 18-victory season of 2010 but so little last year. It was a matter of being aggressive in the strike zone, which Hughes needs to continue to maintain his position in the rotation.
Only a solo home run by Seattle’s Mike Carp spoiled Hughes’ best outing of the season as he improved his record to 3-4 with a 5.50 ERA in the Yankees’ 6-2 victory over the Mariners. It was not that long ago that Hughes’ ERA was nestling near 8, but two straight winning decisions have silenced talk that he may be bumped out of the rotation now that Andy Pettitte is lined up to start Sunday in the series finale.
Yankees management has maintained faith in Hughes despite his tendency toward high pitch counts that has resulted in his reaching the seventh inning only twice in seven starts. He solved that issue Saturday by walking only one batter and getting ahead in the count on a regular basis. Granted, the Seattle lineup is not among the league’s fiercest, but the Mariners are no longer the pushovers they were a year ago.
The bottom third of the Yankees’ order provided much of the support for Hughes against former teammate Hector Noesi, the pitcher who accompanied catcher-designated hitter Jesus Montero to Seattle in the trade for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos, both currently on the disabled list. Noesi (2-4, 6.32 ERA) gave the Mariners innings at least – seven – although not enough were quality.
The game was essentially decided in the second inning when the Yankees scored four runs on doubles by Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin and a two-run home run by Jayson Nix, who started at shortstop as Derek Jeter got a DH day. Ibanez, Martin and Nix in the 7-8-9 slots combined for four of the six runs, five of the eight hits and five of the six RBI.
Ibanez, who has been one of the Yankees’ most consistent offensive forces, slugged his seventh home run in the fourth inning, an impressive blast over the center field fence. He has driven in 21 runs with 23 hits, a terrific ratio. And just as Noesi and Montero were playing against their old team, so was Ibanez, who played in 10 seasons for the Mariners from 1996-2000 and again from 2004-08.
There was some offensive input from the front end of the order as well. Jeter helped build a run in the eighth when he singled, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Robinson Cano. Jeter’s two hits Saturday raised his career total to 3,141, tying Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn for 17th place on the all-time list. Can ran his hitting streak to 10 games during which he is batting .425 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI in 40 at-bats.
Boone Logan took over for Hughes in the eighth and earned his first save. He gave up a tainted run in the ninth, but it could have been worse. Carp came close to a second homer with a drive to right in the ninth, but umpires reviewed the play and overruled the original call. Video replays clearly showed that the ball hit the top of the fence and did not go over and come back onto the field.
Carp had to settle for a double, but the umps allowed Kyle Seager, who was on first base, to score. Girardi questioned that decision, but I think the umps got it right. Seager slowed down coming around third base when the original home run call was made. The ball banged away from Yanks right fielder Nick Swisher a significant enough distance that Seager deserved the benefit of the doubt that had he continued full speed he would have scored. There probably would not have been a throw to the plate anyway.
That was the least of the Yankees’ worries, thanks to Hughes.
The Yankees were well aware how stingy Felix Hernandez can be, particularly at the current Yankee Stadium where he has been every bit the “King” that his nickname suggests. Going into Friday night’s game against the Yankees, the Seattle righthander had allowed only one run in 24 innings in three winning starts at the new Stadium.
So it was no surprise to hear Yanks manager Joe Girardi say before the game, “We have to take advantage of every opportunity to score.”
The Yankees had plenty of opportunities for a change and while some were squandered they did not miss the boat on a big scoring chance in the sixth, although they came close. Nearly the same situation that they wasted two innings earlier confronted them.
In the fourth, they had runners on first and second with none out on singles by Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. A questionable decision by third base coach Rob Thompson and hesitant running by A-Rod cost the Yankees a run when Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single to left by Mark Teixeira. Hernandez then retired Nick Swisher on a pepper shot and struck out Raul Ibanez.
Big chance missed.
Again in the sixth, the Yankees got the first two batters on. Rodriguez walked, and Cano singled. Hernandez came close to working out of the jam again by getting Teixeira on a fielder’s choice and striking out Swisher with a sinker on the inner half of the plate. Hernandez also went with a sinker on his first pitch to Ibanez, but this time the ball was up. Ibanez drove it to right field for a three-run home run, a stunning development for Hernandez, who left the game after giving up a one-out single to A-Rod the next inning.
Ibanez’s sixth home run wiped out the 2-1 lead Hernandez had been given by Jesus Montero’s fifth home run leading off the top of the sixth. The former Yankees prospect showed he had not lost his Yankee Stadium touch with an opposite-field shot for his fourth home run in 34 career at-bats at the Stadium.
This was a sweet victory for the Yankees to knock off the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner (and 2009 runner-up) in the opener of a three-game series against the Mariners. Hiroki Kuroda was touched for solo homers by Dustin Ackley and Montero but only four other hits through seven innings. Kuroda’s best work was in the fifth when Seattle had the bases full with one out, and the Japanese righthander struck out Brendan Ryan on a nasty splitter and got Ichiro Suzuki on a fielder’s choice.
Even after Ibanez’s homer, it was a tight game at 4-2. Andruw Jones, batting for Eric Chavez, loosened things up with a two-run home run in the eighth off Steve Delabar to create the 6-2 final. It was the first pinch-hit homer of the season for the Yankees.
The red-hot Cano kept up his torrid pace with a 4-for-4 game with 3 singles and a double. He is batting .444 in his 9-game hitting streak with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 RBI in 36 at-bats. He also made a snazzy play in the eighth to rob Montero of a second hit.
The big night by Ibanez, who has 19 RBI with 22 hits, and Cano was part of a combined attack against Hernandez, who gave up 11 of the Yankees’ 14 hits, a total previously unheard of when King Felix had taken the mound in the Bronx. With the Rays and Orioles battling each other this weekend in Baltimore, the Yanks have a good chance to gain significant ground in the AL East standings.
The Yankees were expected to run on catcher Jesus Montero Friday night, and they did not waste any time in their former teammate’s first game back at Yankee Stadium since the off-season deal that sent him and pitcher Hector Noesi to Seattle for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos.
Montero’s strength as a top prospect was his offensive ability, not his work behind the plate. He and John Jaso are alternating at catcher and designated hitter. Curtis Granderson, who singled to right with one out in the first inning off Felix Hernandez, stole second with two out.
That put Granderson in position to score on a single to right by Robinson Cano, who extended his hitting streak to nine games but was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw to the plate that was cut off by first baseman Justin Smoak.
The run allowed by Hernandez that inning equaled the amount he had yielded in his previous 24 innings over three starts at the current Yankee Stadium. It also brought the Yankees even at 1-1 with Seattle, which got a leadoff home run from Dustin Ackley off Hiroki Kuroda.
Mark Teixeira should have taken note of how many cheap hits he might get if he decides to bunt against the over-shift so many clubs utilize against him. You don’t want a 5-hole hitter doing that with runners on base, but leading off an inning, why not? Teixeira took a full cut at a slider from Hernandez, but the ball dribbled toward , the equivalent of a bunt. He beat it out for a single, a good way for a hitter regardless of power to start of an inning by getting on base. Just a thought.
The initial reaction of any Yankees fan to news that pitcher Michael Pineda will be out the entire 2012 season due to a right shoulder anterior labral tear is understandable. Did the Yankees get damaged goods in the trade that sent their top hitting prospect, catcher Jesus Montero, to Seattle in January?
Pineda did not endear himself to the Yankees when he showed up in spring training 20 pounds overweight, but there is no evidence that the righthander had any shoulder trouble at the time of the trade that also involved the exchange of pitcher Hector Noesi to the Mariners and pitching prospect Jose Campos to the Yankees. Before any trade, players undergo a thorough physical, and no red lights went up about Pineda.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made it clear to reporters Wednesday that he did not blame the Mariners in any way about Pineda’s condition, which did not show up in an MRI at the time he went on the disabled list. Cashman is convinced Pineda suffered the tear during his extended spring outing last week.
“In no way do I believe that the Seattle Mariners had any knowledge of any issue prior to the trade,” Cashman said. “We got a fully healthy player. We looked at all the medical files. It’s an unfortunate circumstance. That can happen, and it happened.”
The immediate effect is that the Yankees are not as strong in pitching as they expected to be when they added Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to the rotation and welcomed Andy Pettitte’s bid for a comeback, which now cannot come too soon. Kuroda has a terrific start Tuesday night but was out-pitched by the Rangers’ Yu Darvish. Phil Hughes, who was to start in Wednesday night’s series finale in Texas, struggled in his previous three starts (1-2, 6.75) and Freddy Garcia, who will start over the weekend at Yankee Stadium against the Tigers, has been scorched in his three starts (0-1, 9.75 ERA). Pettitte started Wednesday night for Double A Trenton but is probably at least a week away from joining the big club.
“We are pitching-deep, but like everything else, some of our guys have to get better,” Cashman said, “We have to get guys on track at the major-league level and Triple-A.”
Pineda will have an arthroscopic procedure on his shoulder May 1 at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery, performed by Dr. David Altcheck, the Mets’ team physician, assisted by Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician.
“Shoulder surgery is challenging,” Dr. Ahmad said in a conference telephone call. “Based on what we know from Michael’s M.R.I. scan, this is a discrete tear and we do feel that the tear can be repaired arthroscopically and based on that we are optimistic we can get him recovered.”
“I’m devastated,” Cashman said. “Obviously, there’s always risk involving pitchers. Obviously, this was a big move that I pursued this winter. You always go in with eyes wide open that there’s a risk associated with pitching. It’s extremely difficult, but even more difficult for the player.”
Before continuing their weekend series in Boston, the Yankees received troubling news about pitcher Michael Pineda, their major trade acquisition in the off-season. The righthander was shut down after throwing 15 pitches in an extended spring game Saturday in Tampa when he reported pain in the area behind his pitching shoulder.
Pineda, whom the Yankees obtained from Seattle Jan. 23 with pitching prospect Jose Campos in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, opened the season on the 15-day disabled list because of right shoulder tendinitis. After resting the shoulder for nearly a month, Pineda was to make his first injury-rehabilitation assignment Saturday but experienced a setback. He is scheduled to undergo tests Monday.
Pineda’s condition means the Yankees need to get improved performances from their current starters, who aside from Ivan Nova have had lackluster results. Andy Pettitte, who is trying to come back to the majors after a year’s inactivity, could very well be needed by the Yankees next month when he presumably will be ready to rejoin them.
Friday marked the centennial of the first game at Fenway Park with the Yankees gaining revenge for having lost the first game 100 years ago by winning this time. On the day after that Fenway opener, the Highlanders (as the Yankees were then known) returned to New York to play an exhibition game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds in a benefit for survivors of RMS Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic six days earlier. The Giants won the game, 11-2, which raised $9,425.25.
So a relatively quiet winter for the Yankees got pretty noisy on Friday the 13th of this month when general manager Brian Cashman pulled off a trade with Seattle of rookies with enormous potential, a deal which was finalized Monday and has fans of both clubs buzzing about the 2012 season a month before the start of spring training.
This was a bold move for the Yankees, who were in need of help in their rotation but did not see much aid forthcoming among what was available in a free-agent field relatively weak in starting pitchers. Cashman always seems to have the Mariners in mind when looking for pitchers and came close to gobbling up Cliff Lee in the middle of the 2010 season only to have the Rangers scoop up the coveted lefthander, who after that season decided he really wanted to go back to Philadelphia. Cashman also keeps close watch on Felix Hernandez, should the Mariners ever decide he could become too expensive to keep.
In reigning in Michael Pineda, Cashman brought to the Bronx size and youth in one package. The cost was dear, however, and Yankees fans will likely be assessing that price throughout the 2012 season. Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ best hitting prospect since Derek Jeter, won over the fans’ affection in his brief stint with the team last year, which makes his departure difficult to accept.
Of course, you have to give up quality to get quality, but Pineda should realize from the start that he will be scrutinized closely this season by fans who saw in Montero perhaps a second coming of Mike Piazza, a catcher with the ability to hit for average and power to all fields. Just as was the case with Piazza, defense was a sore point for Montero, whom the Yankees used mostly as a designated hitter after his late August callup.
Had Montero stayed with the Yankees, he would have likely continued to be a DH rather than behind the plate where the team is quite pleased with Russell Martin. A possible move to first base was out of the question with the productive and durable Mark Teixeira stationed there. In short, the Yankees did not really have a spot for Montero since they would prefer the DH role as a rotating half-day’s work for their aging veterans.
Besides, the Yankees’ greater need was pitching. Pineda, who just turned 23, is still just a pup, albeit a sizeable one at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. The Dominican righthander was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA in 28 starts for a Seattle club that had the worst offense in the majors last season and earned a place on the American League All-Star staff.
Despite his general success, Pineda did raise some issues last year. He slumped to 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA after the All-Star break following an excellent first half (8-6, 3.03 ERA). He certainly enjoyed the atmosphere of pitcher-friendly Safeco Field where he was 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 12 starts. Yankee Stadium’s more hitter-friendly dimensions could pose a challenge to Pineda, who did not pitch there last season. The Stadium was by all means friendly to Montero, who hit .500 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI in 9 games and 30 at-bats in the Bronx.
Pineda will also have to get used to pitching more regularly in AL East yards. He was okay (3.00 ERA) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., but not so well at Baltimore’s Camden Yards (4.50 ERA) or Toronto’s Rogers Centre (7.11 ERA) and downright awful at Boston’s Fenway Park (14.54 ERA).
There were two other pitchers involved in the deal. Hector Noesi, who did a nice job in long relief for the Yanks last year, accompanied Montero to Seattle where he will get an opportunity to make the rotation. The Yankees also got Jose Campos, 19, one of the Mariners’ top prospects, who pitched in Class A ball in 2011.
Pineda would appear to fit nicely alongside CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova at the top end of the starting pitchers’ unit with Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia in a competition for the other two spots. Spring training will tell how all this will fall out.