Pineda’s Future Suddenly Looks Bleak

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If the Yankees had drafted Tim Lincecum, he wouldn’t be Tim Lincecum. He’d be another failed prospect because of the Yankees ironclad rules and regulations placed on their pitchers under the pretense of “development” when, in reality, they’re feeding the organization’s inherent paranoia and concerns about perception.

This isn’t speculation nor is it a partisan attack. It’s history.

Michael Pineda had a disastrous start against the Phillies last night.

In what was supposedly the final audition for Pineda to seize a spot in the starting rotation in his “battle” with Freddy Garcia—yes, Freddy Garcia—Pineda allowed 6 runs and 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Phillies.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

Immediately after the trade for Pineda, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden of ESPN that Pineda “better improve the change-up & develop into a #1 starter or he will have made a mistake.”

We can debate Cashman and how stupid he’s made himself look with his behaviors, self-destructive shunning of the tight-lipped executive he once was and new outgoing personality—there may not be a connection between the litany of pitching mistakes he’s made and the “new” Brian—but there’s no debating what this organization has done to so many young and talented pitchers.

Add Pineda to the list.

If Pineda’s sore shoulder is indeed a serious issue, expect to hear a great deal about the other player they got in the trade—Jose Campos.

Campos is 19 and has never pitched at a level higher than A-ball, but the continued mentioning of his name was done more as a furtive bit of chicanery to shift the analysis of the trade to the distant future that may not come.

For this they surrendered both Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.

Ask yourself this: What would be said by the likes of Mike Francesa, Michael Kay and any of the other Yankees apologists disguised as members of the media had this been the Mets or Red Sox who’d traded their top hitting prospect and good pitching prospect away for a young starter who’d made the All-Star team the previous year and if the Yankees began running him down publicly and proceeded to do everything possible to destroy him in his first spring training? What if those organizations were constantly discussing a kid in the low minors as the “key” to the trade?

Neither Francesa nor Kay have seen Campos; they wouldn’t know what they were looking at if they had. But the regurgitated analysis of him is going to go on unabated as a shield to protect the Yankees from having traded two top tier prospects for a pitcher they did everything they could to sabotage.

Even if Campos is the real deal, what have the Yankees done in recent years to make anyone believe that they’re going to develop him into a successful big league starter for them?

On one level, it’s funny that this is happening to the Yankees, a team whose sheer existence is predicated on them being “better” than everyone else.

On another level, they’ve taken superiorly gifted youngsters and committed organizational malpractice repeatedly.

Once the life’s dream of most young players to wind up with the Yankees, it’s evident that the last thing a pitcher will want is to wind up in pinstripes because it’s the death sentence to their careers.

Are people a product of their environment? Or are their traits inborn?

With the Yankees, I think we know the answer and Pitcher Protective Services needs to be created to step in before more careers are ruined.



8 thoughts on “Pineda’s Future Suddenly Looks Bleak

  1. Didn’t Cashman say that Montero could be a Miguel Cabrera type hitter before too long? In the same breath he claimed that Pineda needs to be as good or better than Sabathia to make the deal worthwhile?

    Whether or not Montero turns into what they think he will turn into, doesn’t this paint Cashman as kind of a bumbling doofus? If you have your fingers crossed after every trade you make, doesn’t that suggest that you have no plan whatsoever.

    Even if you don’t believe in advanced metrics, at least those guys have a system and a strategy. Cashman comes off as the type of guy that tries to invade Russia in October.

    Hopeful, but clueless.

    1. He did compare Montero to Cabrera. He didn’t say Pineda had to be as good as Sabathia, but what he did say was bad enough.
      If you’re going to trade a top power bat and a top pitching prospect you’d better be cocksure about what you’re getting back; the Yankees are reduced to hoping with Pineda and playing up the value of a 19-year-old kid. The Yankees have gone deeply into advanced metrics to the point that Joe Torre was resistant to it and they hired Girardi, in part, because he was willing to acquiesce to stat based theory where Torre wasn’t.

  2. While interesting, this article is little more than poorly written and poorly defended rhetoric. You point to an example of how the Yankees ruined a young arm – Michael Pineda. While he is on the DL for some shoulder inflammation, you fail to provide any evidence of how he was sabotaged by the Yankees and you provide no evidence that his previous injury problems or his tenure with the Mariners are NOT the causes of these issues. You also fail to provide, for the most part, any other evidence for your Anti-Yankee hypothesis. Just rhetoric. I can see now why you’re the baseball writer I’ve never heard of – you have the analytical skills of a 14 year old.

    1. It’s not my writing that’s the problem, but your reading comprehension.
      The Yankees’ comments regarding Pineda put him in a position where he needed to prove himself immediately. Cashman’s statement—for public consumption, self-protection or whatever—of Pineda needing to refine his changeup and develop into a number one starter were destructive; their treatment of him in openly questioning his velocity led to him trying to throw harder to light up the radar gun.
      Is that not negative?
      Have the Yankees done a good or bad job in developing and deploying young starting pitchers with their rules, regulations, hype, expectations and demands?
      Does it matter that the GM who made the trade compared Jesus Montero to Miguel Cabrera?
      Wouldn’t that serve to put pressure on a 22-year-old who’d never experienced anything like New York and being a Yankee?
      Making personal attacks while leaving an anonymous set of initials as your identity reflect poorly on you far more than my writing and rhetoric could ever reflect on me.
      So now it’s “how do we prove it wasn’t the Mariners’ fault”?
      The argument of Pedro Feliciano having been “abused” by the Mets as a basis for his injury with the Yankees failed. The Yankees examined and cleared him medically.
      Wasn’t Pineda examined by the Yankees before they made this trade?
      Your logical leaps are absurd and make you look more foolish than your attempts to insult me as a form of argument.
      “I prayed to God that it wouldn’t rain today and it didn’t; therefore there is a God.”
      “The Yankees are 5-0 at games I’ve attended; therefore they always win when I go to a game.”
      The evidence of my “Anti-Yankee hypothesis” is the ridiculous constraints they’ve placed on their pitchers and the consistent failures of said pitchers to develop into anything more than faltering and injury-prone prospects. See Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and now Michael Pineda.
      Since I have the analytical skills of a 14-year-old and would have to dial it back to make it easier for you to grasp what I’m saying, perhaps you’d be better off sticking to the YES Network and listening to Michael Kay and Mike Francesa to get a Yankees-centric and simpler form of communication to validate your partisan idiocy.

      1. The Yankees and Brian Cashman really have no defense of their actions in developing pitchers successfully since Stick was the GM back in the Pre-Dynasty days before Cashman became the GM.

        I don’t think you have to believe or disbelieve in advance metrics to say unequivocally that the Yankees are a terrible team when it comes to handling young pitchers. Their ability to harm the development of young pitchers is only surpassed by the Cubs, maybe.

      2. Michael has been public in saying that he would’ve pushed Hughes harder when he was younger.
        You can come up with a reason for the pitch/innings limits I suppose, but with the randomness and the way they haven’t worked, there’s no defense.
        It’s a nightmare and intelligent Yankees fans will agree that the strategies have plainly and simply not worked.

      3. Here is what is perplexing to me….

        If you are a stats based thinker, and you believe that stats can point you towards efficiency…all you have to do is look at the data and you will see that the program that is being used isn’t working. End of the discussion.

        On the other hand, I believe that the stats work to a point. They can tell you whether or not a batter is prone to take pitches or if a pitcher is wild, but they can’t tell you what is too much pitching for a young pitcher as an absolute. Because for every Phil Hughes there is a King Felix. And, I don’t remember the Mariners babying him.

      4. If you take every pitcher and treat him like all the other pitchers, insert him into a cookie-cutter program, this is what you get. What the Yankees have done actually diminishes the work done by the likes of Rick Peterson in trying to find ways to keep pitchers healthy and productive because it takes the entire program and poisons it with negative perceptions, faulty implementations and practical failures.
        But they’ll find a way to justify it and are evidently going to stick to it because they’re more concerned about perception than development.
        A truly ruthless and team-oriented tactic in using pitchers would be to let them pitch when they’re young—and no one’s saying abuse them—then let them leave as free agents or trade them when they come close to free agency. In the Yankees system, they got nothing from Chamberlain; nothing as a Yankee from Kennedy; and aggravation and inconsistency from Hughes. You would think they learned, but they’re still at it with Banuelos and Betances.
        I have to wonder if they’re even listening to dissenters or are staring at printouts in a hypnotized state as if they have the blueprint to build a rocketship. It doesn’t work that way. And it isn’t.

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