Monday, May 30, 2016


"I feel strong. I feel good."

That's what Michael Pineda said this weekend after his train wreck of a start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He definitely doesn't look good.....or strong for that matter. He looks like a desperate pitcher looking to hold on to a job. He is supposed to be our number two not a pitcher that is a bottom feeder not only for his team but for the entire league. How can the Yankees keep running him out there every fifth day?

The short answer here is: They really don't have much of a choice. There is no Plan B. It would be nice if the Yankees had a strong pitcher stashed down in AAA like they have in recent years. Unfortunately this year, we don't. Wouldn't it be nice if we had signed Tim Lincecum right now? Not to go back and bring up "what if's" but the Yankees have traditionally been smart about stashing arms. Right now they have Richard Bleier a lefty who has never pitched in the majors before.

The Yankees have already tried this move once earlier this month with Chad Green and that didn't go very well and they have Luis Cessa in the bullpen. None of these options sound particularly exciting. Green pitched to 9.0 ERA in his only appearance and while Pineda certainly doesn't have anything to brag about he does have one thing that none of these other guys do and that is experience.

Pineda has been terrible. His 6.92 ERA is the worst among American League starting pitchers.His first inning ERA was at 13 entering into Saturday's game, but he tacked on three more runs to that now. He has started in 10 games and has yet to pitch into the seventh inning. It looked like he had started to figure out his issues in his previous start but was short lived.

I wanted to believe that Pineda was figuring it out, but he can't seem to keep the ball down and Larry Rothschild says he can't seem to keep the ball away from righties and inside to lefties. So basically, Pineda just can't locate anything. It sounds like Larry Rothschild has a lot to work on. He has to fix mechanics issues to resolve with Pineda and then when Luis Severino comes back he is going to have to give both of these guys a little confidence. The Yankees cannot afford to coddle either of these pitchers if they want to climb out of the AL East cellar.

Usually when I hear a pitcher say that he feels "good" even though he is pitching poorly I hold my breath because I am waiting to hear that he is hurt. Could Pineda be injured and he just isn't saying anything to the Yankees? Maybe, but even Rothschild doubts that an injury is to blame for all of this. It wouldn't make sense for Pineda to be throwing at the same velocity that he usually does.

According to Joe Girardi, they are going to stick with Pineda for now. They still believe in him regardless of his performance so far this season. He does have a minor league option left so even though they can send him down they do not believe it will benefit him and not only sounds like they have even less confidence in anyone they could all up from the majors. This is a disaster. This is just going through the motions with no real plan....and it isn't going to help the Yankees climb back into the AL East race.

Again I ask....where is the accountability? Pineda isn't to blame, Larry Rothschild isn't at fault for two of his struggling pitchers. The players are to blame but not Alan Cockrell who is supposed to be the hitting expert on the team. Just like Yogi Berra used to say "It gets late early out there" and it is time to right the sinking ship before it's too late.

--Jeana Bellezza, 
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 


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