The Potentially Historic Comeback of Michael Pineda

The big righthander reared back and fired one last time, and Dodger catcher John Roseboro popped it up to shortstop Luis Aparicio to cap a 6-0, four-hit complete-game shutout, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the 1966 World Series that they would go on to sweep. It was an eclectic Series game to be sure – it marked Sandy Koufax‘ last major league appearance, and was marked – you might say defaced – by an amazing six Dodger errors, including an incredible three by center fielder Willie Davis. Perhaps most notable, however, was the identity of the pitcher who tossed the shutout.

At age 20, Jim Palmer had now truly arrived, following up a 15-win regular season with this heroic effort. The future could not appear brighter for a kid who, unbeknownst to anyone at the time, would pitch all of 49 major league innings over the next two seasons due to a serious shoulder injury. Why is any of this relevant? Because this is as close as anything in baseball history to a successful precedent for the comeback currently being attempted by the Yankees’ Michael Pineda.

Pineda’s 2011 debut with the Mariners was stellar by any measure. He was dominant through the season’s first half, and after a six-inning, 7 K outing on July 4 against the A’s. his record stood at 8-5, 2.58, with a 106/34 K/BB ratio and only 75 hits allowed in 108 innings. At age 22, his future appeared as bright as Palmer’s had almost 45 years before. He pitched in the All Star Game, but was hit hard in the three starts surrounding the midsummer classic. For the remainder of the 2011 season, Pineda never again pitched on regular rest – he was already bearing down on his career high of 139 innings in a season – as the club tried to find a middle ground between a regular starter’s workload and a total shutdown.

That offseason, he was traded to the Yankees along with minor league hurler Jose Campos for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi, a deal that appeared to be a washout for both clubs entering this season, as Pineda lost all of 2012 and 2013 to surgery for a significant labral tear in his shoulder. Based on Pineda’s first two starts this season, this deal might still have a pulse on the Yankee end.

Let’s take a couple of different approaches to attempt to find situations comparable to Pineda’s faced by past starting pitchers. First, going back to 1938, pitchers who qualified for an ERA title for the first time by age 22 and then did not again qualify until age 25 were identified. Only nine pitchers met this criteria, which had no qualitative restrictions of any kind attached to it.

NAME 1ST Q YR 1ST Q AGE YR 2 IP YR 3 IP 2ND Q YR 2ND Q AGE REASON FOR DNQ
J.Palmer 1966 20 49 1969 23 Shoulder
Koonce 1962 21 73 31 1965 24 Ineffective/Minors
K.Wood 1998 21 137 2001 24 Elbow (TJ)
T.Underwood 1975 21 156 133 1978 24 Swingman
Greinke 2005 21 6 122 2008 24 Social anxiety/Swingman
D.Alexander 1973 22 114 133 1976 25 Swingman
Rusch 1997 22 155 5 2000 25 Ineffective/Minors
Ol.Perez 2004 22 103 113 2007 25 Ineffective/Toe
Broberg 1972 22 119 29 1975 25 Ineffective/Minors
Pineda 2011 22 ? ? Shoulder

A wide-ranging list, to be sure. Most of these players didn’t qualify for ERA titles in the two seasons immediately following their first qualification for the same reason – they weren’t established as true major leaguers from a talent perspective. Cal Koonce, Glendon Rusch and Pete Broberg meet that strict definition, and while Oliver Perez certainly had the talent, his mechanics continually wavered, and left him unable to display it on a consistent basis.

Tom Underwood and Doyle Alexander were useful big league contributors in their two intervening seasons, but were fifth starter types who also did some work out of the pen, not accumulating enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. Zack Greinke‘s situation was quite unique, as he stepped away from the game for almost the entire 2006 season to address social anxiety issues, and then was used primarily out of the pen in 2007.

That leaves only two pitchers who didn’t qualify for ERA titles for two consecutive seasons after their first qualifying season at age 22 or younger who lost those seasons specifically due to injury – Jim Palmer and Kerry Wood. Wood’s injury was to his elbow, and after missing all of 1999, he came within 25 innings of qualifying in 2000, before returning to the qualifying ranks in 2001. While a Tommy John surgery is serious business, one has a much better chance of recovering from a serious injury to the elbow than to the shoulder.

Palmer clearly comes the closest to matching Pineda’s scenario. While Pineda is the only one of this group to log zero major league innings in the two seasons after his first qualifying season, Palmer pitched by far the fewest among the above group. Most importantly, he is the only one of the group to miss almost all of those two seasons due to a serious shoulder injury. Palmer pitched through his shoulder pain – he walked 54 batters in 71 minor league innings in 1967 and 1968, and even pitched in winter ball before miraculously coming out of the other end of the sausage grinder intact, and somehow primed to pitch 3600 innings and win 245 games over the next 16 seasons, beginning in 1969.

Now let’s put some qualitative restrictions on pitchers with comparable situations to Pineda. Below is a list of starting pitchers who A) since 1901, qualified for the ERA title for the first time at age 22 or younger, B) had a K/9 IP ratio of at least one full standard deviation higher than the average of their league’s ERA qualifiers that season, and C) missed qualifying for the ERA title for non-performance-based reasons at least once within two years of their first qualifying season.

NAME 1ST Q AGE + STD K 2ND Q AGE TOT Q YR LST Q AGE REASON FOR DNQ
Nolan 19 1.55 22 6 28 Shoulder
Ankiel 20 2.01 N/A 1 20 The Thing
P.Dean 20 1.92 21 2 21 Shoulder
Correa 20 1.76 N/A 1 20 Shoulder
K.Wood 21 3.80 24 4 26 Elbow (TJ)
Ba.Johnson 21 1.81 26 2 26 Knee, back, etc.
T.Griffin 21 1.35 26 3 33 Various injs.
Ol.Perez 22 2.44 25 3 26 Toe, mechanics
Prior 22 2.34 24 2 24 Elbow, shoulder, etc.
Youmans 22 1.41 N/A 1 22 Shoulder
Harden 22 1.11 N/A 1 22 Shoulder, elbow
Pineda 22 1.46 ? ? ? Shoulder

A very interesting list of “could have beens”. Gary Nolan was a young, fireballing phenom for the 1967 Reds, striking out 206 batters – and walking 92 – in his age 19 season. His shoulder issues robbed him of his best stuff very early in his career, but he pitched through the pain, willing his way through four 200-inning seasons, with his K and BB rates plunging all the while. He adapted and still had solid big league success (110-70 record, 117 ERA+), mostly as a finesse guy, but fell far short of what was once envisioned.

Rick Ankiel famously unraveled in the 2000 playoffs, walking 11 batters in 4 IP over two starts after a sparkling age-20 regular season in which he struck out 194 batters – and walked 90 in 175 innings. He only pitched 34 more innings in the big leagues, though he did carve out an enduring career as an outfielder through last season. Paul Dean, Dizzy’s younger brother, pitched a total of 503 innings in his age 21 and 22 seasons combined, winning 19 games both years. He would only pitch 284 more major league innings over seven seasons, striking out only 94 batters after his shoulder injury.

Edwin Correa struck out 189 batters – and walked 126 – in his age-20 rookie season in 1986. He too hurt his shoulder, and only pitched 70 more big league innings. Wood was briefly discussed earlier – he did return from his Tommy John surgery to unfurl three more Kerry Wood-esque seasons from ages 24 through 26, but was then struck down by a succession of injuries to his triceps, shoulder and then elbow again, which many trace to the heavy workload that he and Mark Prior (see below) were forced to carry during the 2003 season, when Wood was 26. He ended up fashioning a reasonably successful second act as a reliever, pitching until 2012.

Bart Johnson was basically the Rick Ankiel of his era. He struck out 153 – and walked 111 – in 178 innings as a starter/closer in 1971 at age 21, but was then hindered by knee and back injuries, and even became a position player in the minors for awhile before a rebound season as a finesse guy in 1976. Tom Griffin was a journeyman who qualified for three ERA titles at ages 21, 26 and 33, an interesting combination. In his rookie 1969 season, he struck out 200 batters – and walked 93 – in 188 1/3 innings, but then never again struck out more than 110 batters in a season in an injury-plagued career.

Oliver Perez is somehow still active, and was quite effective in 2013. After a strong age-22 season in 2004, he broke his toe and his mechanics went haywire, and he couldn’t get anyone out for two years. He has alternated between feast and famine cycles ever since, but has lived to tell about it. Mark Prior was the best pre-injury “pitcher” of this group, the only one who exhibited strong control in his first qualifying season, posting a 245/50 K/BB ratio in 211 innings in 2003 at age 22. He broke his elbow in 2004, and after a reasonably strong bounce-back season in 2005 was then derailed by the shoulder injury that ended his career.

Floyd Youmans struck out 202 batters – and walked 118 – in 219 innings at age 22 in 1986, but only pitched 243 MLB innings the rest of his career, whiffing only 74 batters in his last 127 innings. Shoulder surgery again was the culprit. Rich Harden struck out 167 batters – walking 81 – in 189 2/3 innings at age 22 in 2004. He was beset by a barrage of shoulder and elbow injuries, but did manage to pitch 664 more MLB innings over the next seven seasons, including three years with more than 125 innings, striking out 715 batters along the way. The stuff never left, but the durability never came back.

What can we learn from these pitchers and apply to the Pineda situation? First, there aren’t many success stories here. Gary Nolan and Kerry Wood went on to have the best careers among the group, but both still fell what short of what might have been. Most notably, all of these pitchers with the exception of Prior and Paul Dean had below average control prior to their first significant career-interrupting injury. High K and high BB totals equal high pitch counts, and added potential for overuse at a young age. Without their Grade A stuff, all of the below average command guys except for Nolan and Wood were unable to appreciably improve their strike-throwing enough to have a post-injury future.

Michael Pineda did not have poor command in his rookie season. In fact, his calling card as he advanced through the minors was his unusual combination of upper-90′s heat and very low walk rates – he walked barely over two batters per nine innings over his minor league career, and averaged under three per nine innings in his 2011 rookie season. Let’s take a look at all of Pineda’s 2011 plate appearance outcome frequencies to see how the pre-injury version got things done:

FREQ
Pineda % REL PCT
K 25.4% 141 94
BB 8.1% 106 65
POP 14.1% 166 95
FLY 27.5% 99 45
LD 22.5% 106 76
GB 35.9% 76 18

On the positive side, both his K and popup rates are at the extreme high end of the spectrum, with 94 and 95 percentile ranks, respectively. That’s a devastating “free out” combination that gives him tons of margin for error regarding the relative authority of other types of contact he can allow without materially negatively impacting his overall performance. His line drive rate was high (76 percentile rank), but that may regress going forward. Pineda was a fly ball pitcher in 2011, with a very low grounder rate (18 percentile rank). His BB rate was above average for a starting pitcher (65 percentile rank), but that was influenced by an upward late-season spike as his partial shutdown phase was implemented.

Repertoire-wise, Pineda dominated in 2011 with basically two pitches – a fastball that averaged nearly 95 MPH and a wipeout slider that averaged 84 MPH, with the odd changeup mixed in. The lack of a legit changeup was the prime reason for his fairly large platoon split (110 relative OPS+ vs. lefties, 89 vs. righties). His swing-and-miss percentage of 11.9% ranked second among AL ERA qualifiers in 2011.

It’s only been two starts, but so far, the 2014 version of Michael Pineda looks an awful lot like the 2011 model. His swing-and-miss rate is even better, at 14.1%. His popup rate is high, and he is showing a strong fly ball tendency. The big platoon split is still there. His average fastball velocity is down by over 2 MPH to 92.3, though he is throwing his slider and changeup at almost exactly the same average speed, and is throwing them the almost exact same percentage of the time as he did in 2011.

Michael Pineda needed to accomplish two exceedingly difficult tasks to get back to being the dominant starter he was in 2011. The first was to get back to being the same guy qualitatively – the early returns suggest that he has done that. Only Kerry Wood and – briefly – Mark Prior on the second list above were able to do so, even for a short period. The second task is to make it stick – to hold up over time, to pitch enough innings to qualify for an ERA title, and beyond, experiencing enduring major league success. The jury is still out on that one.

This brings us back full circle to Jim Palmer. The link between Palmer and Pineda just might be the key to the latter’s chance of making it stick. In that 1966 World Series Game 2 shutout, Palmer recorded seven popups among his 21 contact outs. Palmer outperformed his K rate by one of the most significant margins in baseball history. Part of this was due to exceptional defense behind him – all-time great defenders supported Palmer at third base (Brooks Robinson), shortstop (Mark Belanger) and center field (Paul Blair) for most of his career – but only part of it. Palmer was one of the greatest contact managers in the game’s history, due in large part to his ability to generate popups – a true, measureable skill that Michael Pineda happens to share.

Pineda is not the athlete that Palmer was – but Palmer did not have the bat-missing ability that Pineda has. If Pineda can stay on the mound, continuing to show the strikeout/popup package that he has shown both before and after his shoulder injury, the sky is the limit. What he is in the process of doing is basically unprecedented in baseball history – baseball fans of all stripes should be able to get behind a positive outcome here, one that should be a lot of fun to watch unfold.




Print This Post





45 Responses to “The Potentially Historic Comeback of Michael Pineda”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. ballsteidhe says:

    Rick Ankiel. Reason: “The Thing”. This is so shockingly, sadly accurate…

    +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. The Thing says:

    Who should I take down now that Ankiel is done for?

    BWAHHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Value arb says:

    Joe Posnanski recently wrote about Gary Nolan with his usual brilliance, providing some insight to how shoulder injuries used to be treated.

    http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/gary-nolan-surgery/

    ‘“I have no idea how you pitched in that sort of pain,” Frank Jobe said to him. “You must have been in agony.”

    Thirty-five years later, Gary Nolan could still recite those two sentences, word-for-word.’

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JohnnyK says:

      Pretty sure he covered this extensively in “The Machine”, just for the record.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • doublej says:

      Saw Nolan’s name thought of the same article. Great read. JoePos wrote it in the aftermath of Dr. Jobe’s death. I think if memory serves me correctly it was a bone spur, and Jobe found it by x-raying the shoulder from a different angle than the doctors the Reds sent Nolan to.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Zach says:

    Great article. Really puts into perspective how fantastic and fortunate Jim Palmer was to make it past his early injury woes. I’m hopeful for Pineda but bracing myself for the likelihood of more injuries in the next year or two.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Steven says:

    Somebody who came very close to meeting your criteria of qualifying for an ERA title by age 22 and then not again until 25 or later: Anibal Sanchez.

    He threw 114 MLB innings in his age 22 season, and then didn’t qualify for an ERA title until age 26 when he threw 195 innings. What’s interesting about this comparison is that Anibal’s injury was almost identical to Pineda’s. Both had labrum tears that were not “SLAP” and did not result in rotator cuff damage.

    +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Yup. Anibal is the correct comparison.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • geo says:

      Was also wondering why the author neglected to bring up Sanchez, who had the identical injury and identical surgery, then missed virtually the identical amount of time.

      The only reason anybody would deem Pineda “historic” is because, you know, Yankees. He is not without precedent, despite what Blengino says.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Yeah, fortunately for Pineda, there’s a decent precedent of people with his injury getting back to normal after a few years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Balthazar says:

        To be fair, Tony’s comparisons were for guys at the very beginning of their career.

        If we expand the sample to pitcher’s who either had the injury in the minors or had a few major league seasons under their belt, we’d have a better comparison though. Anibal Sanchez, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling alone have been mentioned in comments here, and all seem highly comparable at least as far as stuff pre-eeek!

        Guys come back from this kind of injury, and some of them go on to pitch for years injury-free.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Warning Track Power says:

    Yankees need some good luck with a young starter. Whatever or whomever you attribute the failures of Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy (despite their intermittent or one-off successes), not every supposedly good young Yankees prospect is merely the result of the hype machine and if Nova and Pineda can be solid, young, inexpensive parts of a good rotation (or blossom to be consistently deserving of the superlatives heaped on them after their respective 2011s) that allows my Yankees to continue to throw money at star players, potentially past their prime, potentially with an above-market contract, in other areas of need. Which may be the best I can hope for in terms of roster construction with an organization that more than any other cannot fail to be trying to win in the present in lieu of several years down the road.

    I didn’t comment on the article about Hughes and foul balls but it confirms what every Yankees fan knows–Hughes just can’t quite put the batters away. I don’t know what his foul ball tendencies were like before his breakout couple months of 2010 but he carved up the league then for those couple months, supposedly with a newly added cutting-type fastball, and then when the league caught up to him he became what he is now, a guy who just can’t make his pitch often enough when he gets the second strike on the batter, instead fated to endure his pitches being fouled off until he misses and throws a meatball.

    Regardless of the fact that he got injured, Chamberlain showed potential in the rotation, but he wasn’t quite developed as a starter; he nibbled, he threw too many pitches, and the Yanks had to burn through the pen too often. In another franchise he might have had time to develop his craft but he couldn’t do that on the win-now Yankees.

    As for Kennedy, his nice 2012 notwithstanding, he’s never had Hughes’ opening to 2011 or Joba’s ability to wow (like this http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200905050.shtml game against the Sox where Joba gives up hits to the first five batters to begin the game, going down 4-0, then gets 12 of his next 13 outs via strikeout), so I’m less disappointed about the fact that his 2012 will probably just be a career year, but I recall that after a game he started that the Yanks lost he made some cavalier comments about the importance of baseball in the grand scheme of things or some such and presumably fell out of favor with the organization.

    I remember loving the Pineda trade when it went down. I spoke to a few fans who were down on it, because Montero had had such a great September, but I recognized immediately that Montero was a man without a position due to his liabilities on defense (perhaps true even if the Yankees didn’t have a long-term commitment to Teixeira) and that not every team has the willingness to Billy Butler a young prospect into the DH role at 23 years old. The Yankees certainly don’t, given their need to use the DH as a half-day sort of deal with their collection of effective, if not particularly durable, museum pieces whom are present in great numbers on the current roster.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bookbook says:

      “not every supposedly good young Yankees prospect is merely the result of the hype machine”

      Yeah, the Yankees prospect in this story who was the result of the hype machine would be Jesus Montero, not Pineda–who pitched with strong success for a year in the majors prior to being traded to the Yankees.

      I’m rooting for Pineda’s success. He seems like a good guy, and I don’t want anyone derailed by injuries. But no matter what happens, Pineda isn’t a notch in the belt of the Yankees farm system.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AndrewYF says:

        No, but the only reason the Yankees were able to acquire him was due to their farm system, which was actually ranked quite highly back then. And if he returns to form, it’s certainly a notch in the Yankees’ oft-derided ability to develop young pitching.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        The Yankees ability to acquire Pineda absolutely is a notch in the belt of the Yankees farm system.

        Prospects aren’t just valuable because of their performance in the big leagues. The Yankees’ development of Jesus Montero allowed them to flip him for a massive return, and they should absolutely be proud of that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Warning Track Power says:

        I actually opened my comment about the need for the Yankees to have good luck with a young prospect. I never said that they had to have drafted him. For all intents and purposes the Yankees trading for a starter as young and with as little service time as Pineda very much is akin to drafting him; acquiring young, inexpensive talent is not considered to be part of their playbook. They are wont to acquire veterans with long track records of success.

        Further, as the commenters below stated, their ability to acquire him via the talent in their own system does qualify as a feather in their cap, irrespective of whether or not the talent they traded away crashed and burned, or was overhyped.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Warning Track Power says:

          Commenters above. I forgot where my reply would end up.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • joser says:

          That the Yankees were able to obtain Pineda for an overrated sack of crap like Jesus Montero (plus almost as much crap in a slightly smaller bag in the form of Noesi) certainly isn’t a notch in the belt of the farm system, but brings us back to putting notches in the belt of the Yankee Hype machine.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    …except Anibal Sanchez, who had the exact same injury as Pineda.

    …and Roger Clemens, who had the exact same injury as Pineda.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steven says:

      I think Clemens’ injury was to a different part of his labrum
      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16634

      also, we don’t quite know what kind of medicine he may have been using then that may not have been quite legal today

      I think Schilling’s tear was in the same spot at least (I think both were anterior rather than posterior), but his was classified as SLAP while Pineda’s was not.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Yeah, he was wrong about that. The “glenoidal labrum” just means that it was in his shoulder, not his hip. So you could say that Pineda’s injury was in the anterior glenoidal labrum, or in the anterior labrum of his shoulder. It means the same thing.

        Schilling’s injury was essentially a much more serious version of Pineda’s and Sanchez’s.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Balthazar says:

        Yeah, Clemens and Schilling were two names that came to me reading the post, so it’s good to see you guys going over the back ground. Power pitchers _do_ come back from this kind of injury.

        Regarding Pineda, my wonder is whether he escapes Rich Harden’s purgatory; that is, whether Pineda is and stays fully healthy now, or always has a wrinkle in his shoulder that can take him out for a few months or more. Secondarily, I’ll be looking to see if Michael’s velocity picks up a bit later in the year. It’s impressive that Pineda is already throwing as hard as he is, though. I don’t care about the ‘who won the deal’ angle, I’d just like for Michael Pineda to pitch and pitch well. I remember watching him in Seattle when he was going great, and he was a joy to watch. That slider breaks like a split, and few guys could touch it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Fardbart says:

    After the pine tar came off his hand following the 5th inning he stopped being able to get the ball to dive like it have been. he gave up a Double to Ortiz, a HR to Nava and a single to Bogaerts then was gone. Obviously a meaningless sample size, but so is data from 2 mlb starts.

    Will be interesting to see if that ball continues to stay up in the zone now that the league will be watching him closely.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Kyle says:

    If you want to talk about incredible, feel-good comebacks, Dustin McGowan is more than worthy of a mention. He doesn’t meet your specific critera, but:

    - 2007, age 25, 169.2 innings in MLB, 3.5 WAR
    - 2008, age 26, 111.1 innings in MLB, 2.2 WAR
    - 2009, age 27, whole season missed with injury
    - 2010, age 28, whole season missed with injury
    - 2011, age 29, 35.1 innings pitched between MLB/MiLB, -0.1 WAR
    - 2012, age 30, whole season missed with injury
    - 2013, age 31, 37.2 innings pitched between MLB/MiLB, 0.2 WAR
    - 2014, age 32, member of the Blue Jays rotation, averaging 93 mph on his fastball with his devastating slider

    If you’re not rooting for this guy, man, what’s wrong with you.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Balthazar says:

      I’ve never forgotten McGowan, and I really hope he has a career. He’s been through as much physical hell as you can find and still keep coming back, the dude deserves a medal for perseverance at teh least. His name on a big leauge line-up card as SP is the equivalent of that, I guess.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • vivalajeter says:

        It’s a great story, and I’m rooting for him – but I wonder how much physical hell there really is when it comes to rehabbing an injury. He made about $3.5MM between 2009 and 2013 while rehabbing. I’ve never had physical rehab. Is rehabbing a shoulder injury really that hard? Or is it more like going to the gym every day, and getting paid a hefty sum for it?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Oh Beepy says:

          I can’t speak to the rigors of a rehab assignment, but if you’ve ever known anyone who had major surgery they are pretty fucked up physically for some time afterward and often in pretty serious amounts of pain.

          Also, its important to note the very-different mindset that is required of a professional athletes. Almost nothing is more important to them than confidence and competitiveness, and one must at the very least be amazed that McGowan could still believe in himself enough to keep going through the rehab. It’s not like he isn’t aware of how unlikely making it back is, that must hang in one’s head fairly heavily.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Rehabbing a shoulder injury is a bitch.

          I only had inflammation, and it was quite painful to roll up a car window, much less do my rehab exercises. I can only imagine how awful it would have been if I had needed surgery.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Steven says:

          I had a SLAP tear in the posterior region of my labrum along with tears in my rotator cuff. Surgery was a breeze, rehab was some of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. Even now nearly 10 years later I still have a lot of discomfort sleeping and when the weather changes I get pain in my shoulder and numbness in my fingers.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Frank says:

    A Champagne toast to medical science.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Hard to believe we can compare older pros with the same injury to the treatment and surgical skills of treating the it today. Pineda has been the most dominant pitcher for the Yankees so far this year. His make-up and demeanor suggest he has what it takes to make this performance last. But we all know, no one can remember April in July, let alone October. In NY, we’re all thrilled for Big Mike, as his manager nicknamed him. He’s a joy to watch right now, and we’re going to ride the good times as long as they last. Thank you Seattle, and we hope you don’t mind if we sign Montero to a MiLB contract after you cut him loose. As for Campos, he’s not in our elite/fast-moving class of minor league arms yet, but no one has given up on him and we’d all love to see him, too, move up the ranks quickly this summer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Balthazar says:

      I’m still waiting for Campos to be converted to a power reliever which is his probable future. He’d dominate in that role, move fast, and you Yankers need a New Late Guy.

      Michael Pineda definitely has the demeanor on the mound to compete against anyone. It’s part of what I always liked about him as a player. Montero would loose face first to a custard pie everytime. It’s part of what I’ve come to loath about him as a player.

      But hey, we stole Abe Almonte off youse guys, and you let Danny Farquhar go who’s got more stuff than anybody in your pen. Happy to keep picking your pocket for fifties and tenners even if we swapped you a C-note for sawdust. Really want to get under the skin of a Mariners fan? Just say out loud the real name of the guy who left town here as Duckter Nogutsi, and you’ll hear our teeth grind from the other end of the continent.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        …I’m not sure why we should give a shit about Farquhar when our closer has been the best reliever in the AL since 2011. And then there’s the fact that guys like Betances have just as much stuff as Farquhar has ever had. The Yankees have lots of guys like Farquhar. It’s one of Cashman’s strengths, really.

        Also, Almonte isn’t good and would never have cracked our OF (due to our having both competent present outfielders and multiple OF prospects who are significantly better than he), while Kelley has been quite useful for us. In fact, he was essentially Farquhar last year.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Josh says:

    You know who loves Jim Palmer? Jim Palmer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KS says:

      It’s easy to mock Palmer. He has a tendency to talk too much, and to talk too much about his own career. But he also has an incredible photographic memory about all things baseball that any true fan finds amazing and fun. Most of all, he was one of the all time greats, and those of us of a certain age will never forget his great, sustained dominance for a decade that few other pitchers can lay claim to.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Josh M says:

        No doubt, I’m not old enough to have watched him play (I was only 8 when he tried his comeback) but I proudly wear my Jim Palmer throwback jersey when I go to camden yards. I just find it amusing how he always compares the current pitching staff to himself, a nearly untenable standard. I’d still take him as a color guy over Bordick though.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Brian Matheson says:

    I will say good luck to Michael Pineda, but I don’t see anything but huge risk in the way he throws. His stride length and the way he has to accelerate so quick during the cocking phase after he hits the ground just scream “Tommy John surgery” in the future.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Oh Beepy says:

      I read a lot about pitching mechanics and I’m not aware of any link between stride-length, separation and a likelihood of a torn UCL.

      By “cocking” are you referring to the the moment of the foot strike when the hips and shoulders separate? That acceleration is the cornerstone of modern power-pitching mechanics.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *