SEATTLE -- When Michael Pineda struck out two in his perfect inning at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Phoenix, he treaded some rare ground for a rookie. The 22-year-old became the first American League pitcher to record a pair of strikeouts in the All-Star Game as a rookie since Boston's Don Schwall in 1961. Seeing the youngster perform so well on the big stage was just another affirmation for manager Eric Wedge of the poise of his prize prospect, who'll next pitch Tuesday when Seattle opens a nine-game road trip in Toronto.
"He's done a fantastic job, both on and off the field," said Wedge. "He's handled himself very well and experienced so much here in a short period of time and really been a professional about it. "It says a lot about how his teammates have taken care of him, a lot about [pitching coach] Carl Willis and [bullpen coach] Jaime Navarro and how they're handling him. But most importantly, it says a lot about him. I was proud to see him go out there and do what he did. It's just another step for him." If you're wondering, the 6-foot-6 Schwall went on to go 15-7 with a 3.22 ERA his rookie season, but never won more than nine games the rest of his seven-year Major League career.