TAMPA, Fla. -- This marks Michael Pineda's fifth season in the Yankees' organization, which seems like a false fact until you recall that the right-hander lost the two seasons immediately following his acquisition to injury.
It has been a long road, but the Yankees are squeezing dividends out of that Jan. 23, 2012 deal with the Mariners, having apparently gotten the better of the Jesus Montero swap. Pineda now has his sights set on being present for a full campaign.
"If you're healthy, you can compete and you can pitch. That's what I'm looking for," Pineda said. "That's what I want; to be healthy all season and pitching every five days to help my team."
Pineda, 27, fired four innings of one-run, four-hit ball in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Braves on Saturday, walking none and striking out four. He was 12-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 27 starts last year, completing 160 2/3.
He says that he intends to reach the 200-innings mark for the first time, and manager Joe Girardi isn't ruling out the idea that Pineda could make 30 to 32 starts. Pineda's slider and changeup still need a little fine-tuning, Girardi said, but his biggest key is health.
"This year, I think he's more prepared for the workload than he was last year, just because he went through it and he hadn't pitched in a couple years, really," Girardi said. "I think he's in a much better position going into this year."
The Yankees trimmed seven players from big league camp following Saturday's game. Outfielder Ben Gamel was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and reassigned to Minor League camp.
New York also reassigned right-handers Tyler Cloyd, Mark Montgomery and Vinnie Pestano, left-hander Richard Bleier and infielders Jonathan Diaz and Donovan Solano to Minor League camp.
All-time saves leader Mariano Rivera appeared at camp Saturday for the first time this spring, enjoying some laughs on a back diamond during batting practice. Girardi said that Rivera was expected to be in Tampa just for the afternoon.
"We figured it was the time he showed up to get in games when he was a player, so he's right on cue," Girardi said.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.