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Pineda officially named Yankees' 5th starter

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the third

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the third inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 23, 2014 in Tampa. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Leon Halip

Michael Pineda will find himself in a place that he hasn't been in since 2011 -- the major leagues.

Manager Joe Girardi officially named the former All-Star as the Yankees fifth starter yesterday.

"He threw extremely well," Girardi told reporters. "It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved each outing. At times he was dominant. We liked what we saw."

Pineda has a 1.20 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings this spring.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander, still only 25, will try to prove to everyone that he is the same pitcher who had a 2.92 ERA and averaged better than a strikeout per inning in the first half of 2011.

Although Pineda's career has been beset by injuries the last two seasons, his manager is confident in his abilities and said he will have no innings limit this year.

"He has worked very hard the last two years," Girardi told reporters. "This is a guy who's been to 175 innings before. So we know he's capable of handling that."

David Phelps and Adam Warren, who Pineda beat out for the job, are expected to open the season in the Yankees' bullpen. Currently, it's unclear whether Vidal Nuño will join the bullpen or be sent to Triple-A to start the season.


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