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.