First Pitch: Pineda and his V-lo

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
7:00
AM ET
We can play down Michael Pineda's lack of velocity in his first outing all we want. That's fine and dandy. It doesn't make it go away.

The only way it does is for Pineda to light up the gun today.

So there is some intrigue in his second start of the spring, because today, when you ask about Pineda against the Braves, your first question will likely be this one:

How hard did he throw?

In spring training, these are the type of issue you watch for, because the games mean nothing. After one start, as I wrote the other day, there are no real worries, but if he again has trouble reaching the mid-90s, the beat goes on. Then we will have to watch for it in the third start.

Joe Girardi, Pineda and everyone in pinstripes will always play it down.But last time out, Pineda was only at 88-92. He really should live in the mid-90s.

With Phil Hughes last year, that was the story. The increased weight and the decreased fastball weren't a big deal until Girardi finally admitted the other day that, well, actually they were.

So you have to trust your eyes more than your ears at this point. We will see if Pineda can bring the heat. The first start could have very well meant nothing and we will have a big headline on the blog here in a few hours that reads, "Never mind!"

But we have to watch the V-lo -- the term people in the game like to use for velocity. It sounds like a Disney character -- V-lo. The Yankees want to see Pineda's V-lo animated today. They would likely deny that, but they would love to put this "issue" to bed.

ON-DECK CIRCLE: The Yankees clubhouse is open from 8:30 to 9:30. Then we are going to Disneyland. If you are in the area, the Braves sent out an advisory to leave 30-60 minutes early, as to avoid what is expected to be larger than usual traffic.

Pineda's first pitch is scheduled for a little after 1 p.m I'll be on the blog all day so keep checking back. Thanks for reading.

QUESTION: Who are you most excited to watch in the near future -- Pineda, Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances? And why?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.282 6 42 44
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 56
OPSM. Teixeira .805
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135