Friday, March 30, 2012

Super News! /sarcasm

EDIT: I just heard that Pineda was feeling soreness in his shoulder before the game, but didn't tell anybody about it. It probably didn't help that he not only went out and pitched anyway, but that he tried to throw harder too. Perhaps the fact he was still able to throw as many pitches as he did is a good sign, as a bigger injury would have probably made him leave the game sooner.

Well, well, well.

Michael Pineda left today's game against the Phillies after 2.2 innings. Something just didn't seem right about him this evening. For starters, his fastball was "cutting" instead of "tailing". And although he doesn't have the greatest control in MLB, Pineda was all over the place (his BB/9 last season was 2.89, and he walked 3 in those 2.2 innings tonight).

Michael was visibly upset when he left the game, and for good reason as he was booed by those at Steinbrenner Field. And now we learn that he felt soreness in the back of his shoulder. Pineda also admitted to trying to throw harder.

That last line kind of ticks me off.

I mean... why was he trying to throw harder? Sure, his batting average against was a bit high (.283), but the results were still there as he had struck out 16 batters in 16.1 innings, with an ERA of 3.31.

You know what I think? I think all the talk about his velocity, which has been discussed ad nauseum by everybody from baseball writers to the weird guy at work who thinks his comb-over is fooling people, finally got to him. Seattle is not exactly New York, so I have no doubt that all the talk was a bit overwhelming for Pineda. To the point where he finally tried to shut them up by going out there and throwing as hard as he could. And what happens? Injury.

It would be nice if people could finally shut the hell up about his velocity, or lack thereof, and just let the guy pitch. Even at 90% Michael Pineda is a #2 pitcher in MLB, and for that reason I believed he was not going to AAA to start the season. That way he would not only keep getting work in and improving, but he would still be putting the team in a position to win games... something he wouldn't be able to do in AAA.

But now, who knows? I just hope that soreness is not a sign of a bigger problem.

Meet A Prospect... With A Twist

Starting on Monday, April 2nd, our very popular Meet A Prospect posting on the blog will take a little bit of a different role. I do not want to give away too much now but I think that all of the fans are going to be quite happy with the new direction. Check in Monday, April 2nd , to see what it is all about. Get Greedy!

Spring Training 3/30/12

Here is tonight's lineup.. More after the game.

Derek Jeter SS

Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Eric Chavez 1B
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones DH
Justin Maxwell RF
Brett Gardner LF
RHP Michael Pineda

Who Goes To The Minors?

Whether they are up in arms at the possibility or not, a lot of people have discussed Michael Pineda starting the season in AAA. The main reason seems to revolve around his velocity, or lack thereof. Personally I think the velocity "issue" is overblown, because it's not like he's throwing much lower than he averaged last season. Fangraphs says that Pineda's fastball averaged 94.2 MPH (he throws a cutter that averaged 96.7, and a two-seamer that averaged 95, but he only threw those 2.1% and 4.7% of the time), and so far this spring he's only hit 94 a handful of times while averaging around 91 or 92 (I don't know the breakdown between his general fastball, cutter, and two-seamer this spring).

That's not the only reason people have for thinking he needs a bit more work, as Michael's spring batting average against is .283, while it was .209 during the 2011 season. And Pineda's WHIP has been 1.47 so far this spring, while it was 1.10 last season. Then again, people shouldn't worry about a player's stats in Spring Training. I say as long as a player is getting work in, and does not get hurt, then it's all good.

Phil Hughes can be sent to AAA, but the team seems to be set on giving him another shot at the rotation... something I 100% agree with. So no sense getting into things with Phil.

So has Ivan Nova gotten a free pass here? I mean, it's not like he has the track record of either CC Sabathia or Hiroki Kuroda... two guys that are already set for the rotation. To be more specific, should he be getting a free pass?

It's not like Nova has had a ton more starts in MLB than Pineda, as Ivan has started 34 games and Michael has started 28 (Nova started 7 games in 2010 and 27 in 2011, while all of Pineda's starts came last season). Their total innings pitched in MLB is 207.1 for Nova to 171 for Pineda, so it's not like there's a huge difference there either.

So I went ahead an put together this little chart to compare Pineda and Nova...

You can see that Pineda beats Nova at every category but ERA+. I know I said stats in Spring Training really don't matter, but Ivan does have a 6.86 ERA this spring, due in large part to having given up 5 home runs. So I can't help but wonder if Nova has things to work on, and should therefore be optioned to the minors instead. I mean, at least while Pineda is still working on his velocity and control he may get better results.