Michael Pineda spent last season rehabbing, occasionally visiting his teammates between stints at Fort Myers and basically biding his time until today. He was a member of the Twins but had nothing to show for it except for sweating in Minnesota gear.
The Twins signed Pineda to a two-year contract in December of 2017. He made $2 million last season - $2 million to work out, I think anyone would love to be paid to exercise - then $8 million this season. The bet was that he would have a smooth rehab and, once healthy, resemble the up-and-coming pitcher he was with the Yankees.
Keep in mind that Pineda has now had reconstructive shoulder AND elbow surgery. It's challenging enough coming back from Tommy John surgery. A shoulder repair often derails careers.
But Pineda has fought through both, is healthy and is about to make his comeback complete this afternoon at Target Field and the Twins and Indians play the rubber game of their three-game series. Pineda looked really sharp at times during spring training, looking like someone who had never missed a start in the rotation and who was just on a normal progression toward the regular season.
And the Twins are hoping that Pineda, today, can pitch like he never skipped a beat. I listed Pineda as one of the keys to the Twins season. If he pitches well, it's a huge development for the Twins.
The Twins announced that Jose Berrios will start on Tuesday in Kansas City and that Kyle Gibson will make his season debut on Wednesday.
And some fans are in early season form.
Kepler should have bunted Buxton to third, or
Astudillo should have batted for Kepler, or
Buxton should have stolen third, and
Trevor May should have been left in the game, or
May should have been saved for the ninth, or
Parker shouldn't be on the team.
We're two games in.....
I will point out two things...
1. Kepler has three bunts in six attempts in his career...CAREER. He doesn't bunt.
2. You're not pinch hitting for a leadoff hitter getting $35 million.
2a. Perez has a rocket for an arm.
Max Kepler, RF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, RF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Willians Astudillo, C
Byron Buxton, CF
Michael Pineda, RHP
Leonys Martin, CF
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Jake Bauer, LF
Carlos Santana, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Greg Allen, RF
Kevin Plawecki, C
Brad Miller, 2B
Eric Stamets, SS
Carlos Carrasco, RHP