Thursday, April 26, 2012


Injury to starting pitchers is always the worst thing you want to hear, especially when your team’s goal is to put the best guys on the field and deliver every time until you win a championship. In our case it’s clear, we’re the Yankees, we have to win it all, it’s expected and that's with or without out injured acquisitions...enter Michael Pineda.

This news coming out about young Michael Pineda was a punch to my gut yesterday, and all I keep thinking about right now is Jesus Montero. Why does my mind do that? It’s annoying… Look, I was excited about Michael Pineda coming to the Yankees, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t, but I wasn’t happy about Jesus Montero leaving either.  It just so happened that the Yankees needed starting pitching and Brian Cashman did what he was supposed to do, his job.  You can sit here and blame Brian Cashman for something that was beyond his control, like Pineda’s injury, but let’s face facts… he didn’t know it would happen! Come on!  He even referenced it last night explaining to reporters that we received a healthy pitcher in Pineda from the Mariners.  The injury happens on our watch, bottom line.  So yeah. now it seems Pineda’s out for 2012 and a portion of 2013, Read HERE.  Listen though, trust me…don’t blame Cash, don’t blame Pineda… blame a fierce competition for the starting rotation spot in the final days of Spring Training. That’s all you can blame… now we move on, we still have baseball to play.

Michael Pineda will not be a bust long term. Sure, he had a rocky start, and don’t forget, we’ve had many who have had rough starts.

Some pitchers can’t even hack it on the New York Yankees and some learn to adjust and some get hurt alot...  Jack McDowell, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Jeff Weaver…let's not put Michael Pineda in this category yet.  The point is this 23 year old kid couldn’t wait to get started! Granted, he walked into Spring Training looking like a linebacker, overweight, but I’m not exactly sure weight gain contributed to his injury either. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't.  Quite simply, I think Pineda just pushed himself too hard too soon. That’s me with simple thinking and obvious info gathering.  Plus, and you can mock me if you’d like, I think young arms need to be properly stretched out.  Sure you can’t just jump from 60 innings to 171 innings in my eyes, but a gradual increase makes more sense. That's not Pineda's case, but another thing to think about, after all I wrote WHY THE INNINGS LOAD FOR PINEDA & NOVA WORRIES ME. Look, it's something to think about, that's all I'm saying.

But there’s more.  You also need to take into account the amount of starting pitching the Yankees had near the end of spring training.  With Andy Pettitte coming in and Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes competing for a spot, what’s to say Pineda didn’t do too much and just “tweak” something.  Then as he pitched that last game of the Spring, a start that would seal his fate in the Yankee rotation, he sealed his fate on the DL instead and it all happened because he wanted to impress Yankee brass.  At the time I was actively calling for “old fashioned” competition to get pitchers spots fair and square.  I couldn’t have imagined that this could happen, but it did. And no, it’s not my fault either…don’t go there.

You have to feel bad for Michael Pineda. He wanted to prove himself this season.  I remember the New York sports media jumped on the fact that Pineda showed up early ready to go, showing his excitement and appreciation for the New York Yankees and his willingness to work hard to make things happen in the Bronx. Read HERE. I remember Twitter was buzzing, some psyched for the new kid, some pissed that Montero went to Seattle…many had a lot to say about Brian Cashman, you can imagine the mixed bag on that one, but you get the point.  I had my highest readership when the Pineda/Montero trade happened… it was the biggest story of the off season for the New York Yankees and now… it’s the biggest story again for different reasons. 

Is Michael Pineda a lemon? No, but he got a really bad break. You can blast Brian Cashman for not having a crystal ball, but that’s the only thing you can blame him for, because if you really look over what Cashman had done all these years, there were some pretty darn good trades as well as bad, not to mention brilliant free agent signings…after all, didn’t we win just recently…in 2009?  Cashman did his job and it's not an easy job to do especially with a fan base like the New York Yankees. I’m just saying no one’s to blame and the best thing that can happen right now, at this very moment is this: We say a prayer for Michael Pineda, we hope Jesus Montero has a lousy season and the Yankees go out and win... Win for the Yankees fans, win for Michael Pineda and let us all forget about the Pineda injury for now.  No sense bitching and moaning, we have work to do….we need to win, win without Pineda, win a championship in our Quest for 28… it’s our time...and we'll be fine.

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