Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reaction to Pineda News

Photo is courtesy of The Yankee Analysts

At least for the 2012 season the team has lost a big piece. When Michael Pineda was acquired he was looked at as the 2nd pitcher in what would be a really strong 1-2 punch. And after adding in Ivan Nova, they would have a top 3 that was stronger than that of any other team but the Phillies. Not only did Michael show up to camp out of shape, and had apparently not done anything resembling working out during the entire offseason, but he ended up on the Disabled List with shoulder pain. And yesterday it was learned that he'd be lost until after the start of next season. Super *rolls eyes*.

One thing I took away from the news that was positive though was that at least we know there's a reason for Pineda's troubles. Sure, the actual tear may have happened during extended spring training, but from what I've read this is not something that comes out of left field (like how Raul Ibanez should be taken out of left field and DH only). Unlike last year with Phil Hughes, when nobody could come up with a solid reason for his struggles, we have something real to point at with Michael. Pineda's shoulder can be fixed, although it won't be quick and easy by any means, and there's reason to believe he could come back and be the guy me and others believed he could be.

One reason I loved the acquisition was that Pineda was under team control for five more years, which would be huge if the team does indeed make a run at getting at or under a $189 million payroll in 2014 and 2015. It's true that Michael will still be under team control for those seasons in the future, but one of those team control years is lost. I guess I can spin it that at least they are only paying him $528,475 for nothing, instead of the $33 million they paid AJ Burnett the last two seasons for next to nothing. But it still hurts.

Another bad thing about this news is that one of Freddy Garcia or Phil Hughes is going to get more starts than they deserve. Although the team could try out David Phelps as a starter, which fans all over are screaming for, or give others like DJ Mitchell a shot. Mitchell is doing pretty well in his four AAA starts, with an ERA of 3.13 and .87 WHIP. Prospect humpers would be happy with that, as they're whining all the time about minor leaguers not getting a shot with the Yankees. Maybe the team hits pay-dirt and finds another Ivan Nova that way.

It does seem as though the team has to do better at developing pitchers, though. Fans everywhere are pointing at Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes as team failures, but Ivan Nova and Chien-Ming Wang are examples of success the team has had doing so. So fans should not be 100% negative about them in that department. I don't have real numbers to put on the success rate of teams and their prospects, but I expect it to be pretty darn low. I mean Mark Teixeira batting average low. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the team and what was done with Joba and Phil, but to say this team can't develop pitchers is incorrect. Perhaps they can do a better job at it, so some personnel changes or additions should occur, but they don't need a total overhaul.

Speaking of not overhauling team personnel, I don't believe for a second that Brian Cashman should be fired over this. I was hardly the only person defending the trade when it went down, and I'm hardly the only person saying it's not lost today. As far as how this news does affect the trade, I don't care. It's over, and it's time for people to move on and use their time and energy talking about the team. And I'm talking about the actual team, not the would-have-been team. I'm so incredibly tired of that topic. Maybe after a few more years when people can properly evaluate if the deal ended up a good or bad one, but right now it's a waste of people's breath.

It makes complete sense to be upset over things, as I'm right there with you. I'm clearly not as up-in-arms as some people within Yankee Universe (yes, I hate that term, but I couldn't resist using it), but Michael Pineda would have been a big reason the Yankees had #28 in sight. New York is not like Cleveland, where the words "maybe next year" cross the lips of their fans. But the team still has a good shot this season, so all is not lost.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)