The New York Yankees begin a nine-game West Coast swing in Seattle Friday night against the Mariners. In the first two games of the series the Yankees will get looks at the kind of young pitching they have been trying to develop the past few seasons, and are still trying to inject into their starting rotation.
Twenty-two-year-old rookie sensation Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16 ERA) pitches Friday night for the Mariners (24-25) against A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02). Saturday, New York faces AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01). Hernandez is still only 25 years old. Ivan Nova pitches in that game for the Yankees.
The Yankees, of course, have been trying to inject some youth into their rotation for several seasons now. Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy came to the majors in recent years, and all were expected to be more than they have become.
Hughes won 18 games a season ago, but is disabled with shoulder inflammation and a 13.94 ERA. Chamberlain is in the bullpen after not cutting it as a starter. Kennedy was traded to Arizona a couple of seasons ago. At 26, Kennedy is finally showing signs of being the kind of pitcher the Yankees once thought he could be, sporting a 6-2 record and 3.01 ERA for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Yankees are now touting a fresh crop of youngsters in their minor-league system, headlined by lefty Manny Banuelos and hard-throwing right-hander Dellin Betances.
The Yankees begin their West Coast trip in a virtual tie with the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American league. New York (27-21) is just percentage points ahead of the 28-22 Red Sox.
3 game series vs Mariners @ SAFECO Field
|10:10 PM EDT
|4:10 PM EDT