Yankees Spring Training 2012: Pineda Sharp In Debut; Nunez Avoids Major Injury

Three games into spring training, the New York Yankees finally got a look at their biggest offseason acquisition.

Michael Pineda held the Philadelphia Phillies to just one hit over two shutout innings, but the Phillies (1-2) beat the Yankees (2-1) 9-3 (box score here) in exhibition play Monday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla.


Related: What To Expect This Season From Pineda

Pineda, the 23-year-old right-hander acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for top catching prospect Jesus Montero and two other players, allowed a lead-off ground-ball single to shortstop Jimmy Rollins but struck out Shane Victorino and Jim Thome back-to-back to end the first inning. According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, Pineda used the brief stint to experiment with his new changeup.

Pineda also appeared to try out his new changeup a couple of times, including once to Thome, resulting in a softly hit foul grounder on an awkward swing.

Scouts sitting behind home plate clocked Pineda's cutter at between 90-91 mph, his splitter at 86 and his curve ranging from 79-82.

Aside from Pineda, who seemed to be the main source of positive news for the Yankees Monday, the biggest news of the day came in the fifth inning. Yankees utility man Eduardo Nunez was hit near the pinky on his right hand by a pitch from Phillies reliever Austin Hyatt, forcing him out of the game in obvious pain. X-rays ultimately came back negative, and the Yankees are calling the injury a contusion.

"He said he was going to play tomorrow," Joe Girardi said. "When you get hit in the hand, you're always a little bit nervous about that. We'll see what happens."

Though Nunez appears likely to see most of his playing time coming off the bench, The Star-Ledger's Marc Carig writes that Girardi doesn't necessarily agree.

"He has a chance to play a real important role for us," said manager Joe Girardi, who called Nunez "more than just a utility guy."

For more Yankees and Spring Training coverage, be sure to check out Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York.

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