March 5, 2012 @ 19:16:22 PDT
Michael Pineda is one of the featured members of our bust and overvalued starting pitchers list. His uniform has been jacking up his price in many mock drafts so far, and there's legit regression risk in him moving to a tougher division and ballpark.
Spring news warning: This tidbit adds a bit of sun to his spring outlook:
Pineda's changeup was a solid offering last year, per Fangraphs' listing of PITCH f/x. But he hardly used it to complement his trio of fastballs and slider. If this new grip streamlines the pitch, he'll have another much-needed secondary weapon to counteract his fastball, which is in more danger in his less friendly environment.
Enter that grain of salt: It's early in the spring, and such additions of a new pitch have been hit-or-miss in cases like this. Pineda still has a risk of being a Verducci Effect victim, and he lets up plenty of flies.
I'm still not tabbing Pineda as a mixed No. 1 or 2 SP, but this potential arsenal diversification makes me a little more willing to take the chance if he slips to a low 3 or 4. Sadly, that's unlikely to happen in most places.
You know there's reason to be fearful when a Yankees fan is devaluing a Yankee. Or, you know, that's also being objective.
About Tim Heaney
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