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Yankees | Michael Pineda the favorite for No. 5 rotation spot?

New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda gave up four hits and no runs while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday, March 18, and it appears the No. 5 rotation spot is his to lose this spring. Pineda consistently hit 85 mph with his slider Tuesday and was between 90 and 92 mph with his fastball, and he was efficient with his pitches. Pineda hasn't allowed a run in nine spring innings. "Aggressive with every pitch. His slider is amazing. The ball was cutting really good. The fastball has some life so it's going to help a lot. And the changeup is great; he throws it right on the plate," C Francisco Cervelli said.

Manager Joe Girardi still wants to see Pineda stretched to the sixth or seventh innings, though, before it's official that he has a rotation spot locked up. However, Girardi said Pineda doesn't look like a pitcher coming off a serious injury. Pineda says he feels like he's getting stronger in each outing, and he won't rule out that he will touch the high-90s again. He's competing with SPs David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, who each have two spring starts left.

Fantasy Tip: Pineda has come at an extreme discount in drafts because of his serious shoulder injury. With all signs pointing to a bounce-back, don't be surprised to see him shooting up draft boards.

2014-03-18 14:46:01 | Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Wallace Matthews

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