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Michael Pineda Makes First MLB Spring Training Start for the New York Yankees

Michael Pineda made his first start for the New York Yankees against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yes, it is only spring training and not a regular season game in New York, but he was impressive nonetheless.

Almost nobody questioned Pineda’s pure stuff, but there have been questions about his mental status because of his big move to New York.

In the first few days of spring training, Michael Pineda was surprised at the massive amounts of media attention.

ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews explained what happened.

“Michael Pineda’s eyes nearly popped out of his head when he was surrounded at his locker by the 11 intrepid members of the Yankee beat this morning. After all, all he had done was throw some live batting practice to Colin Curtis and Melky Mesa, an “event” that would have gone largely ignored when he was a Seattle Mariner.”

Matthews later went on to explain how Pineda temporarily ducked the media after a bullpen session, although he did eventually take a short interview and explained how he slightly changed the grip on his changeup.

“So instead of discussing his “outing,” Pineda politely asked for some time to get his head around the concept of a press conference after an early spring workout. He promised he would talk to us “in a few minutes.” He then disappeared into a circle of teammates and never did return to give his assessment.”

That new grip seemed to work against the Phillies because Pineda came out and had a great outing for the Yankees.

Pineda threw two innings, gave up one hit, zero runs, struck out two batters and walked zero.

The game started off a little shaky as Pineda allowed Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game with a single to center field, but he settled down after that and sent six-straight batters back to the dugout and like spring training starts for most pitchers, he was pulled after two innings.

It does not look like the media attention is getting to him yet, and his new changeup looks like it is getting better. All he needs to do is keep doing what he is doing and get into shape for the beginning of the season.

Of course, we do not know how he will react to the media in New York, but it does not look like the media in Florida is distracting him.

This is a good start to the season for Michael Pineda. Let’s just hope he keeps it up as the Yankees head north in a few weeks.

Will Michael Pineda become the ace we all expect him to be? Who knows? But he started off his Yankee career on the right foot.

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10 Most Exciting Players in the MLB

Everybody loves an exciting play—it can be a game-changer and change momentum.

Everybody’s two favorite segments on ESPN are Sportscenter’s “Top 10 Plays” and Baseball Tonight’s “Web Gems.” Everything from diving catches to walk-off home runs are exciting to watch.

Almost any player can have one big play in a season or a career, but who can do it on a consistent basis? Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey, Jr. ruled the late 1990s and early 2000s but Griffey retired, and at 37 years old, Jeter is not what he used to be.

Who are the most exciting players in the MLB right now? Let’s find out.

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MLB Power Rankings: How Did the 2012 Offseason Switch Things Up?

The 2012 offseason has brought huge changes to the major league landscape.

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, CJ Wilson and Jose Reyes among others signed with other teams while big names such as Gio Gonzalez, Michael Pineda and Andrew Bailey were traded. The Japanese phenom Yu Darvish also found a home in Texas.

Ryan Braun will also likely be suspended for 50 games due to a positive PED test and a new rookie class led by the Tampa Bay Rays Matt Moore will burst onto the scene.

How did these changes, and more, switch up the power rankings?

Let’s find out.

Note: When I list major offseason moves I will not list re-signings or players that have yet to sign.

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MLB Free Agency: Looking Ahead at the Next 3 Free Agent Classes

The 2011-2012 offseason is coming to a close. Players like Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, CJ Wilson, Prince Fielder, Yoenis Cespedes and Aramis Ramirez will all cash in but what about the next three years? Who will be a free agent then?

Some of these players will get extensions but some will hit the free agent market. Who is in for a big payday in the next three years? Let’s find out.

I will be using Cot’s Contracts for player’s contracts.

* denotes a player with a team, player or vesting option

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New York Yankees: How Good Can Michael Pineda Be?

If you have not heard yet, the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners pulled off a mini-blockbuster trade.

That trade sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle and Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to New York. A major trade like this has not happened in a while. It had nothing to do with money—all players will make league minimum—and it wasn’t about one team selling a star for multiple young prospects.

It was truly a deal that helped both teams by sending young studs to help positions of need.

I like this trade, but why? Jesus Montero has been compared to Miguel Cabrera and Manny Ramirez; how can Pineda be that good?

I think he can. Let’s find out why.

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Why Robinson Cano Is a Better Second Baseman Than Dustin Pedroia

There are always arguments over who is the best at a certain position, but not many are as controversial as second base.

First, I would like to say that I am sorry to players like Ian Kinsler, Chase Utley, Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist, Howie Kendrick, Rickie Weeks and Dan Uggla, but by far the best second basemen in the majors are Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano.

Now that we have narrowed it down to two players, which is better? The only way to do that is to compare them head-to-head. To do that, we need criteria and those criteria are simple: batting average, plate discipline, extra base hits, power, speed, defense, arm and playoff performance.

Let’s begin.

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New York Yankees: How a $189 Million Payroll Could Work

The New York Yankees are reportedly seeking to lower their payroll to $189 million. To most teams that seems very easy but the Yankees have a bunch of aging stars with huge contracts that will make this seemingly-simple task very difficult.

Now, the Yankees will not have to permanently stay at $189 million to save money, as the luxury tax in the new CBA punishes repeat offenders, so the Yankees payroll will waver above and below $189 million. In order to save a large amount of money the Yankees will only have to drop to the $189 million payroll threshold once of out every three years.

I will be acting as the Yankees GM and my goal will be to field a competitive lineup while trying to eventually lower the payroll to $189 million. For this article I will ignore arbitration, bench players and players getting league minimum because those figures tend to stay pretty much stable year-to-year and they are tough to predict.

Lets see how this $189 million payroll is possible.

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New York Yankees: 10 Free Agent Targets for the 2012-2013 Offseason

The Winter Meetings just ended this week and as expected, Brian Cashman made zero significant moves other than bringing back their own free agents. The Yankees may be interested in Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes, but as of right now, they have not made any moves.

The 2011-2012 offseason was dominated by first basemen, such as Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but the New York Yankees already have Mark Teixeira and had no need for either of them.

The Yankees need pitching to push them over the top to legitimate World Series contenders, and the 2012-2013 free agent class is full of great starting pitchers. The Yankees also have other important needs, such as right field and the left side of the infield.

This class of free agents is loaded, and Brian Cashman would be smart to take advantage of this fact and go out and make at least one huge deal. Let’s see who they will be targeting in the next offseason.

It may be a little early, but we all love predictions, so let’s look ahead at next offseason targets for the New York Yankees.

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New York Yankees: 10 Players on the Yankees’ Wish List This Holiday Season

Winter GM Meetings in Dallas, Texas are coming up this week and so far Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees have been quiet, but they are the Yankees and will probably make at least one move.

The Yankees’ No. 1 need is pitching but they could use a bat due to their horrible ALDS against the Detroit Tigers.

Let’s look at 10 players on the Yankees’ wish list this December.

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New York Yankees: Scouting Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero started the 2011 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being promoted to the majors in early September. Montero started the season as Baseball America’s third overall prospect and ended the season as the sixth-best prospect in baseball, according to

Let’s look at Jesus Montero’s strengths and weaknesses.

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