What Should the Yankees Do With Michael Pineda?

There probably hasn’t been a bigger story in any camp this spring than Michael Pineda‘s missing velocity. After throwing 94-97 in Seattle last year, he’s been 89-93 so far this spring, though he did pump a few 94 MPH fastballs in his most recent start on Tuesday. While it’s still important to realize that this reduced velocity isn’t entirely new, you also would have expected Pineda to throw harder by now if he was physically able to do it at this point.

Once his velocity became such a big story, it would have been fairly simple for Pineda to calm everyone’s nerves by tossing out a 96 or 97 MPH fastball if he was just holding back and not throwing at full effort. That he’s only been up to 94 suggests that, whether due to conditioning or some other factor, he’s probably not able to throw as hard at the moment as he did last year. That doesn’t mean he won’t be able to again, but it does create some questions about what the Yankees should do with Pineda now that the season is just a couple of weeks away.

My suggestion – follow the Madison Bumgarner model and have him begin the season in Triple-A.

The situations aren’t exactly analogous, since Bumgarner only had 10 Major League innings under his belt when he showed up for spring training in 2010. However, like Pineda, Bumgarner was experiencing a dramatic shift down in velocity, sitting in the high-80s when he’d previously been clocked in the 92-95 range in the minors. Bumgarner’s 2010 spring was a total disaster, as he walked seven guys and failed to strike out a single batter in seven innings of work. The Giants optioned him out to the minors, and even for his first four starts down there, he was a wreck – 17.1 IP, 16 R, 10 BB, 9 K.

But, with some adjustments, the velocity and the performance started to come back. He started missing bats in Triple-A, getting minor league hitters out, and by mid-summer, the Giants called him back to the big league club. He still wasn’t throwing quite as hard as he had previously, but he had learned to be effective without his top fastball. And then, as the season went on, his previous fastball came back.

By the end of the year, Bumgarner was throwing in the 91-95 range again, and by September, he was dominating, running a 32/4 K/BB ratio in 32 innings. He hasn’t stopped pitching well since.

The Yankees should look at Bumgarner and be encouraged. Not every pitcher who has mysteriously lost their top end fastball has had to live without it forever. If Pineda is not compensating for an injury (and at this point, there haven’t been any indications that he is), there is a real chance that his velocity could return. However, it may behoove the Yankees to let him get his fastball back in the minors, at least to begin the season.

For most teams, they wouldn’t have the luxury of sending Pineda down, but the Yankees have six starting pitchers for five spots. No, Freddy Garcia is not a world beater, but he mixes his pitches well enough to be a serviceable back-end starter. Having him make three starts in April isn’t going to inflict significant damages on the Yankees chances of winning the AL East, and because of the off days in the early season schedule, the Yankees can shift his starts around to give him the most favorable match-ups possible.

The gap in expected runs allowed between Garcia and Pineda is around 0.35 runs per start, so over three starts in April, the Yankees should expect Garcia to give up approximately one more run than Pineda would in those same three starts. And, honestly, that’s with a fairly rosy projection for Pineda given the uncertainty around his performance due to his current diminished velocity. The reality is that, over three starts, there’s really not going to be much of a gain or loss either way.

However, giving Pineda the chance to begin the season in the minors could benefit the Yankees in two real ways:

1. He gets a chance to build his arm strength back up outside of the fishbowl that is New York, where every pitch he throws will be highly scrutinized.

2. The Yankees will convert Pineda’s free agent eligibility in 2016 into a year of team control through arbitration instead.

While I wouldn’t argue in favor of a team sending down a pitcher solely for the purpose of gaming the service time system, Pineda has lost his ability to argue that he has nothing further to gain from a short stint in the minor leagues. The Yankees can easily justify the decision to send him down as a baseball related decision, and reap the rewards of the extra year of team control without needing to do anything underhanded in order to get it.

If Pineda was throwing 95-97 and looking strong, it wouldn’t be a consideration. At 90-94, and taking 20+ pitches to get through an inning against spring training competition, it should be. Especially with Andy Pettitte on the comeback trail, the Yankees do not need Michael Pineda to begin the season. The goal should be to get him throwing well by the end of the year so that he can prepared to be a real weapon for the team in the playoffs. Sacrificing a few early-season Major League starts may just be the best way to get Pineda in the best shape possible for October, and could get the Yankees an extra year of service from him in the process.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Uncle Randy
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Uncle Randy
4 years 4 months ago

+1 for the “fishbowl” line; I like that.

Captain Obvious
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Captain Obvious
4 years 4 months ago

Dave Cameron did not invent the metaphor of a fishbowl to suggest intense scrutiny.

Uncle Randy
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Uncle Randy
4 years 4 months ago

Oh really?

James Gentile
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4 years 4 months ago

Abraham Lincoln did.

Person
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Person
4 years 4 months ago

And where do we put the odds of them doing this?

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

realistically, 5-10%

JimNYC
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JimNYC
4 years 4 months ago

If you’ve been following the Yankees at all, you’d know that this has about a 60% – 70% chance of happening. Cashman basically said the other day between innings bullshitting with Susan Waldmyn and John Sterling that if Pineda’s velocity doesn’t appear in spring training, he’ll be starting the season at AAA.

The bigger question is what do they do with him if his velocity doesn’t show up at AAA. Do they keep him in the minors all year? Do they trade him? Right now, he doesn’t appear to be capable of holding down a rotation spot for a contender.

I think the chances are pretty good that the Yankees traded the next Edgar Martinez for a guy who’s going to end up getting flipped for a utility infielder before the season’s over.

Rob
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Rob
4 years 4 months ago

Flip him for utility infielder? thats funny…

Deelron
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Deelron
4 years 4 months ago

Pineda for Figgens then, go go.

CheeseWhiz
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CheeseWhiz
4 years 4 months ago

While I’m a big fan of Montero, I really don’t get these Martinez comps that keep popping up. Montero’s approach is nothing like Edgar’s was, and it would be a minor miracle if he ends up 90% of the hitter he was. Seriously, go back and looks at Edgar’s stats again, he was simply unreal, and Montero has never shown the kind discipline that he would need to reach that level.

Mike Newman
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Dang it Dave! Just when I start to get annoyed by the Pineda chatter from Yankees fans, you write something and it now makes total sense!

James Gentile
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Man, I feel bad for the Yankees….

PSYCH!

steex
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steex
4 years 4 months ago

This-a suit is-a NOT black.

Bookbook
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Bookbook
4 years 4 months ago

Pineda in the minors while Montero’s batting #5 for the M’s? I can’t imagine Cashman wants his every move scrutinized in the fishbowl that is NY like that. I bet he doesn’t do it.

Preston
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Preston
4 years 4 months ago

Batting fifth for a team that has been historically bad offensively the past two seasons isn’t an accomplishment. Cashman’s every move is already scrutinized. Whether Pineda’s in the rotation or in AAA there will be plenty of naysayers on the other side telling he’s wrong and that the trade is a bust.

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

Cashman’s job is secure, fresh off a 3 year contract that everyone knew was coming. Ownership loves him, he’s not going anywhere. If he thinks it’s in the best interest of the Yankees both long-term and short-term, I don’t think he’ll have a problem putting Pineda in the minors for a month, especially with Garcia there at the ready.

JimNYC
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JimNYC
4 years 4 months ago

Cashman’s job is secure, and the trade looked great at the time… but it seems to me that, five years down the line, it’s going to be looked at as trading a Frank Thomas / Edgar Martinez type hitter for a pitcher who could never make it past spot starter / garbage time guy.

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

but at the end of the day, that’s just your pessimistic hunch and nothing more… right jim?

JimNYC
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JimNYC
4 years 4 months ago

It might very well be my pessimistic hunch; I don’t bother hiding my absolute love for Jesus Montero as a hitter, and I’ve been cursing this trade since the moment I found out about it.

I’m also — through a series of events that’s too complicated to get into — a huge Detroit Pistons fan, and when I look at Pineda all I see is Darko Milicic all over again.

Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but I can’t help but feel that the Yankees just dropped themselves into the modern equivalent of Boston’s Jeff Bagwell trade.

Preston
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Preston
4 years 4 months ago

You see Darko Milicic? An 18 year old who never played ball in America stuck on a championship team that never gave him a chance to play and develop? He’s already better than that. He played in and dominated the minors (equivilant to playing in the NCAA in basketball) and had a strong season in the big leagues. Darko has struggled to be a solid bench player, Pineda has already been an All-Star. You’re doomsday analogy has been found wanting for any factual congruity.

Preston
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Preston
4 years 4 months ago

Oh and comparing it to the Bagwell trade is ludicrous. Larry Anderson was a 36 year old reliever. Not a young, elite talent, with a successful major league seasons and five cost controlled years remaining. Plus I doubt Montero is capable of having a career approximating Bagwell’s. Even if he has around a .300/.400/.500 line like Bagwell did, he’s not going to be a plus defender or a base stealer like Bagwell was.

Dan Greer
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Dan Greer
4 years 4 months ago

We’re talking about a team that is going to not only be playing Chone Figgins every day, but leading him off.

Preston
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Preston
4 years 4 months ago

Pineda had a rough first inning the other day. He wasn’t locating well. He made a mechanical adjustment and struck out 5 of 6 batters throwing 92-94. Oh, and his change-up has been pretty darn effective this spring. He’s going to be in the rotation to start the season, and I very much doubt that a month into the season he will be the odd man out if Pettitte comes back strong.

matt w
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matt w
4 years 4 months ago

Keep in mind that those 5 of 6 K’s came against the Pirates.

adohaj
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adohaj
4 years 4 months ago

It’s not like they came against the diamond backs though

ks7
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ks7
4 years 3 months ago

3 of those K’s were from Mark Reynolds and he wasn’t even in the game.

Rob
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Rob
4 years 4 months ago

Bumgarner looked and pitched quite poorly. That hasn’t been the case with Pineda so far.

After all the buzz about Pineda, I decided to watch him pitch a game the other night. Yup, his velocity was down from last year, but after a first inning where he had some uncharacteristic control issues, he once again was generating swings and misses with it, even at a lower velocity, his slider had excellent tilt, and he seemed to have some significant progress with his changeup. Five or the last six outs were strikeouts.

If I saw a kid in Spring Training showing what he did the other night, I wouldn’t be talking about sending him to AAA. I’d be finding a spot for him in the rotation.

He did look like he let his conditioning drop. Not sure why, but certainly corectable. Unless there is some shoulder issue here, something that doesn’t appear to be the case, then I’d let him work his velcoity back up on the MLB level since he still looks to have plenty to be quite successful.

Eric
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Eric
4 years 4 months ago

Well if you are going to go by the few innings the other day, then it should be pointed out that he’s allowing a TON of base runners this spring

Frank
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Frank
4 years 4 months ago

It should also be pointed out that Spring Training stats don’t mean a godforsaken thing.

Eric
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Eric
4 years 4 months ago

Agreed, Frank. That’s my point. If one game is meaningful, then surely the other games this spring are more meaningful. But none of it is meaningful (other than the fact that he lost velocity last summer and it’s continued this spring)

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

“If one game is meaningful, then surely the other games this spring are more meaningful. But none of it is meaningful”

come again?

MCR
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MCR
4 years 4 months ago

Woodrum:

If one game means something, then all the other games considered as a whole must mean more. However, since it’s spring training, none of the results matter even a little bit.

Is that more clear?

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

MCR – yes, thank you. i think i got confused because he was unclear that he was lumping all the games together. i sat there thinking “wouldnt the more recent start be the most important if we’re comparing them?”

Barkey Walker
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Barkey Walker
4 years 4 months ago

After this conversation I see him as NYY’s Liriano whereas I used to see him NYY’s Mark Prior.

eliasll
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eliasll
4 years 4 months ago

If you watched his latest start against the Pirates you wouldve noticed there is nothing wrong with Pineda. 94mph with great control = send him to the minors??

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

i did watch his start. he hit 94 once that i saw… at least from the TV gun. was sitting 92 pretty much the whole time.

awy
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awy
4 years 4 months ago

cursed yankees! #6 org ftw

Eric
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Eric
4 years 4 months ago

Paging Doctor Andrews!

Steven
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Steven
4 years 4 months ago

Would starting him in the minors this year impact his 2014 salary? Would he be short of arbitration if this happened? That’s something that could also factor into the Yankees’ thinking here. It also depends on the work that Garcia can get in before the end of spring with his bruised hand.

philosofool
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Member
philosofool
4 years 4 months ago

I think the Yankees can afford it.

pbjsandwich
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pbjsandwich
4 years 4 months ago

iirc that year Mad Bum just got married. So he wasn’t in the best condition and probably wasn’t in the best mental condition either.

Steve Balboni
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4 years 4 months ago

He was thinking about baseball too much?

Peter R
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Peter R
4 years 4 months ago

While I see the logic Dave, not sure I see them doing it. Michael has still been decently effective this spring even without the major heat. Though how he will stack up against real batters etc we will see as these final weeks of ST come up and the hitters are getting into stride with the pitchers. But if he can still get guys out at a decent pace…I don’t see them sending him down.

Their AAA rotation is already stuffed full of potential pitching and I am not sure the benefits of sending someone else to AA and Michael travelling around without a home ballpark in AAA are really that great.

What they will do with Freddy, IDK. Maybe they will package him with some of their lefty depth and their fourth outfielder depth…all the guys they don’t have spots for and get back some form of prospect? No idea.

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

interesting you bring up the AAA stadium point. i wonder if that affects the decision. i suppose they could just send him to Trenton.

However, if they’re comfortable with Banuelos and Betances traveling the AAA schedule, I suppose they’re fine with Pineda doing it too.

Eric
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Eric
4 years 4 months ago

How has been been “decently effective this spring”?

Peter R
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Peter R
4 years 4 months ago

Do you mean decently is over or under selling it?

I would say he has looked pretty good, but against who?

Joe
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Joe
4 years 4 months ago

That extra year of service time would (depending on how long he is in AAA) be a fourth year of arbitration.

How much money would they actually save by doing this?

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

they’re the yankees, any marginal money saved is a secondary (if that) issue. they’re more interested in having him for 6 seasons rather than 5.

Shane
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Shane
4 years 4 months ago

That sounds like a good idea to me. Although he made the All Star team last year, he faded in the second half. Phil Hughes had similiar problems a year ago, but the Yankees pushed him due to what they perceived to be necessity even though they had Colon throwing well in the bullpen. Actually Hughes’ 2010 was similiar to Pineda’s 2011. Hughes was much better in the first half of 2010 than he was in the second half. If they send Pineda down they should keep his workload down, let him work on secondary pitches and regain his velocity. And I would love the extra year of service time if I’m the Yankees. If He starts at triple A he also gets to watch how Pettitte (one of the true proffesionals) goes about it.

Jay Stevens
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Jay Stevens
4 years 4 months ago

Did he fade the second half? His velocity was down, as was his ERA, but his xFIP was better in the second half. His poorer second half could be seen as the result of increased BAIBP and lower strand rate.

NS
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NS
4 years 4 months ago

In other words, yes he did.

Shane
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Shane
4 years 4 months ago

Go talk to Matt Cain about xFIP. Don’t get me wrong I know it has value but these stats are not catching eveything.

Steve
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Steve
4 years 4 months ago

Well, last time Cameron was opining pre-season about “Pineda needs to develop another pitch” and “Pineda should be kept down for service time reasons”, Pineda then had a 3.42 FIP and 3.4 WAR over 19 starts / 171 innings, plus an All-Star appearance.

So if he’s talking this year about keeping Pineda down again, to work on something else and for extra service time benefit, then perhaps the Yankees will ignore that just like the Mariners did… and Pineda will end up with a 2nd All-Star appearance and a Cy Young candidacy, pitching #2 behind C.C. ;)

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

the points cameron makes still make sense though. i think everyone is in agreement having pineda’s services an extra year would be beneficial to the yankees. the reason its not likely to happen is that even with the lower velocity pineda is still one of the 5 best starters on the yankees. theyre trying to win a tough division, remember.

Michael Scott
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Michael Scott
4 years 4 months ago

Paging Dr. Saltalamacchia

jj17
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jj17
4 years 4 months ago

Dave Cameron is a moron!

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

what does that make jj17?

Eric
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Eric
4 years 4 months ago

I think the Yankees should have him start the season in the rotation, then move him to the bullpen, then move him back to the rotation.

Frank
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Frank
4 years 4 months ago

Haha yeah… Only to move him permenantly to the bullpen…following TJ surgery of course.

Shane
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Shane
4 years 4 months ago

Yes and then back to the bullpen for the stretc run and the playoffs.

henry
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henry
4 years 4 months ago

Damnit, I wish I could take that as a joke, but it is a very frightening possibility.

Frank
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Frank
4 years 4 months ago

“What Should The Yankees Do With Michael Pineda?”

Take his 93, 94mph fastball, devastating slider, nasty-looking and improving changeup (so far this spring anyway), and impressive command and stick him in the big league rotation.

That sounds about right…

EBomb
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EBomb
4 years 4 months ago

I’m sorry, but this article is idiotic and not worthy of fangraphs. Lucky there are so many ignorant ditto-heads to chime in in agreement.

Can we PLEASE put this ridiculous canard of Pineda fading down the stretch to bed. It didn’t happen. How can people be littering the comments section with this idiocy. Have you not bothered to look at his splits before weighing in? His BB/9, K/9, WHIP, FIP, and xFIP don’t indicate any significant change in pre/post ASB performance. Stop repeating crap you’ve read from lazy analysis.

His PitchFX avg fastball velocity dips only slightly over the course of the entire season, with him still hitting the same peak fastball velocities. Additionally, he had stated that he was intentionally not trying to throw his hardest early in games. The only game his fastball velocity was down in was his last game of the year after they had skipped his previous start to limit his innings.

Just in case another ditto-head mentions the GB%, I’ll head off that argument noting that his GB% for the last 3.5 months of the season was over 40%. There’s no greater reason to assume he has a GB% issue than the alternative. It might be a problem, but it very well might not. Certainly, having GB% of 41, 47, 45 in July, August, and Sept/Oct, respectively, indicates he might have been working on this issue.

His problems during this spring have been with his control, not the effectiveness of his fastball or its initially reduced velocity. He has a 3.97 ERA and has punched out 12 batters in 11.1 IP; batters in including Shane Victorino, Jim Thome, Dan Uggla, Jose Tabata, and Andrew McCutchen. There are plenty of solid MLB regulars that he has struck out in spring training. You can’t say “remember it’s the Pirates” or it’s a bunchy of minor leaguers. It’s just not true.

As Allen Iverson brilliantly noted, “We’re talking about practice.” He’s pitched 11.1 innings and he’s been mostly effective, while fine tuning a new pitch, and cleaning up some mechanics that were causing control and command issues. It’s Spring Training, not the World Series.

He’s fine. Stopping trolling this meme to be trendy or to bash the Yankees.

Ronin
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Ronin
4 years 4 months ago

Great response Ebomb, well argued and backed by stats to boot.

Jay Stevens
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Jay Stevens
4 years 4 months ago

+1.

The Ancient Mariner
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The Ancient Mariner
4 years 4 months ago

FWIW, Dave is one of the ones who’s made that very point about Pineda’s 2011.

SAS
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SAS
4 years 4 months ago

I’ve also seen it pointed out that he pitched in winter ball before Spring Training last year, which could explain why his velocity was higher at this time in 2011.

rob norton
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rob norton
4 years 4 months ago

“not worthy of fangraphs” ? – if only they had run this by you first i could have saved myself the aggravation of reading something i enjoyed

Ebomb
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Ebomb
4 years 4 months ago

So, just objectively, your argument against my stated opinion is that I shouldn’t express said opinion because you “enjoyed” this article?

Well, if I knew you “enjoyed reading” delusional, fact bereft articles, I would have run my comment by you first. Zing!

TX Ball Scout
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TX Ball Scout
4 years 4 months ago

M’s dealing damaged goods?

Matt
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Matt
4 years 4 months ago

Who, Bedard?

Hutch
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Hutch
4 years 4 months ago

Nah, Washburn.

designated quitter
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designated quitter
4 years 4 months ago

Pineda is ‘pitching.’ That’s where you throw a little less hard but mix pitches and locations. It is more important than ‘throwing,’ the stated reason for sending him down. Suppose he continues to pitch, but stays below 94? Does he stay in the minors forever?

Also Pettitte won’t be back until May 1.

Monterobang
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Monterobang
4 years 4 months ago

Cashman’s already admitted to reading Fangraphs articles about Pineda in the past, so who knows. What’s good Uncle Randy

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

the word “admitted” almost implies there’d be shame involved. would you expect a franchise of the yankees stature in the sport not to be familiar with fangraphs?

Jaques
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Jaques
4 years 4 months ago

Pineda’s “reduced velocity” this spring would not be a story if it happened to a pitcher on any other team. The only reason it gets attention is because of the tendency of the New York Yankees media/fanbase to make mountains out of molehills and to take an extreme negative view toward any move Cashman makes. It’s been this way for years. As recently as 2010, Curtis Granderson was struggling with his BA in NYC and Austin Jackson was tearing it up in Detroit with an insanely high BABIP, for the first few months of the season, and Yankee fans/media were freaking out, calling A-Jax the next Mickey Mantle and Curtis a total bust. It’s just the nature of the beast in New York, but none of this fan/media analysis should be taken remotely seriously.

To judge the Pineda/Montero trade based on one spring training is utterly laughable. That’s not what Dave’s article is doing here–Dave actually makes a good point, but that’s exactly what the negative Yankee fans/trolls are saying in the comments section, and it’s a real shame that there’s so many of these people infesting a great site like Fangraphs.

wobatus
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wobatus
4 years 3 months ago

Actually, Ubaldo Jimenez’s reduced velocity has been story in Cleveland too, albeit he had reduced velocity last year too.

Roger Dorn
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Roger Dorn
4 years 4 months ago

“If it’s mid-April and he’s trying to keep the Yankees in a regular season game and can’t get his fastball over 92, then it’s cause for alarm. Now, though, it’s just not really something that anyone should spend much time worrying about. ”

That’s the last paragraph of the Michael Pineda piece Dave wrote two weeks ago. Not sure what caused such a shift in opinion in such little time with relatively little new information about Pineda, but this just feels like an end of spring training Yankees panic piece to me.

The Ancient Mariner
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The Ancient Mariner
4 years 4 months ago

You’ll notice Dave’s not alarmed now, either.

Jaques
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Jaques
4 years 4 months ago

Fangraphs has long since taken the motto that spring training has little to no predictive value. If Pineda were not pitching for the Yankees, this would be a complete non-issue.

Preston
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Preston
4 years 4 months ago

Especially since he did get his fastball over 92.

Jake
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Jake
4 years 4 months ago

I actually like this idea alot. The extra year on control is pretty much what sold me. Also I think it would be great to attempt to showcase Garcia and build up trade interest in him and/or Phil Hughes. That way once Pettitte is ready him and Pineda could be inserted into the rotation and give the Yankees a completely different look while also improving another aspect of their team with a trade of Garcia. I think Pineda would obviously be annoyed with the “apparant” demotion but he can understand that it makes sense in the long run and assure him that he will not stay down long.

West
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West
4 years 4 months ago

The Seattle Mariners have committed trade rape.

Woodrum's UZR Article
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Woodrum's UZR Article
4 years 4 months ago

unfortunately it only lets me thumbs down this one time.

Helper
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Helper
4 years 4 months ago

Here, you can have mine.

hk
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hk
4 years 4 months ago

Did they get Josh Lueke again?

jim
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jim
4 years 4 months ago

i noticed there was no article about roy halladay’s reduced velocity

steveoh
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steveoh
4 years 4 months ago

Seattle sure would look smart if Montero raked in the middle of their lineup and Pineda started the season in the minors.

What team is Dave a fan of again?

steveoh
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steveoh
4 years 4 months ago

And OMG, how can anyone pitch in MLB with throwing 97 ??!

steveoh
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steveoh
4 years 4 months ago

*without*

steveoh
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steveoh
4 years 4 months ago

JackCurryYES When Cashman was asked about Pineda starting season at Triple A, he said, “I havent thought about it.”

(today)

bpdelia
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bpdelia
4 years 4 months ago

I just wanted to point out I think the differences between Bumgarner and Pineda are WAY more than is implied here. Bumgarner had long term issues and his velocity showed no signs of coming back during spring training.

Pineda’s velocity has increased each outing as he builds arm strength. He obviously was out of shape and perhaps it will take till mid april to get his velocity back.

But as an example CC sabathia’s velocity always seems down in spring training and his first few starts.

If Pineda was still sitting at 89 and hadn’t made any progress fine. But he’s notched it up a bit each start. He’s up to sitting 92 topping 94. I’d expect this trend to continue and next time for him to sit near 93 and top at 95. He can be extremely effective at that velocity. The yankees are trying to win a division. THey have to carry their best five SP’s into the season.

It’s ridiculously obvious that Pineda is one of the Yankee’s best five starters.

Is someone actually going to argue that PIneda sitting at 93 with his slider and an improving change up is not as good a pitcher as Freddy Garcia at this point?

Exactly.

Matt
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Matt
4 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure Cameron is arguing that Pineda isn’t better than Freddy Garcia, he just thinks it would benefit the Yankees to start him in AAA.

Pineda wouldn’t be in AAA if he was still in Seattle, because there’s less pressure on him to increase his velocity immediately. If he’s throwing in New York and his velo is low, he could get hammered in a start and have the media all over him. Since the Yankees suddenly have some depth in their rotation with Pettitte and Garcia available, giving him a couple starts in AAA would make sense, although the media would (unjustly) get all over Cashman for it. ‘Cuz the media is full of dirty tricks. (2pac)

It would be best for everyone if his velocity suddenly hopped back up, but they shouldn’t force it.

Llewdor
Member
Llewdor
4 years 4 months ago

If Pineda is broken, Jack Zduriencik is going to look like a genius.

AndrewYF
Guest
AndrewYF
4 years 4 months ago

There’s a first time for everything.

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 years 4 months ago

It will take a hell of a lot more to make Jack Z look like a genius. …he’s the guy that purposefully designed a team that couldn’t score runs because he thought all glove no hit players were the next great commodity….

Mikey
Guest
Mikey
4 years 4 months ago

Methinks a lot of people are forgetting Campos. According to all reports, he has looked terrific this spring and it would not shock me if he ended up being the piece that swings this deal towards the yanks (or vice versa, if somehow Noesi ends up being a true workhorse #4 starter)

Brian
Guest
Brian
4 years 4 months ago

This post is ridiculous. It’s like he’s talking about his ex or something.

Matt Mosher
Guest
Matt Mosher
4 years 4 months ago

OK…now lets talk about something that actually does have a chance of happening.

Joe
Guest
Joe
4 years 4 months ago

“Once his velocity became such a big story, it would have been fairly simple for Pineda to calm everyone’s nerves by tossing out a 96 or 97 MPH fastball if he was just holding back and not throwing at full effort. That he’s only been up to 94 suggests that, whether due to conditioning or some other factor, he’s probably not able to throw as hard at the moment as he did last year.”

Can someone help me out – when I click on this article I seem to keep getting re-directed to the ESPN-NY site. So given the news stories, Pineda by now would have just reached back and fired one merely to silence critics if he could have? That’s really being published on Fangraphs? Does using qualified words like “suggest” and “probably” mean that it is hedged enough not to be considered absurd coming out of the mouth of someone who purports to have a SABR mindset where data is objectively looked at and speculation and narratives are avoided?

It’s one thing to actually talk about the velocity and more importantly what effect it might have (which is oddly missing), but to offer up speculation on what Pineda might or might not do simply to silence the media and to use that as evidence of him being unable to do it is something that Andrew Marchand would write to drum up hits and comments.

raf
Guest
raf
4 years 4 months ago

This is the 3rd year in a row where the Yankees (their fans)were concerned about a pitcher’s velocity (Phil Hughes & Javy Vazquez being the others), I guess it’s understandable that there’d be a little trepidation, especially considering what the Yanks gave up.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
4 years 4 months ago

“There probably hasn’t been a bigger story in any camp this spring than Michael Pineda‘s missing velocity” Seriously??? What about that Yu guy?? or the new first baseman for the Angels?? Oh, I keep forgetting, what happens with the Yankees is important to ALL basball fans. Please.

Preston
Guest
Preston
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t think this is the biggest story for the Yankees. Andy Pettitte came out of retirement during camp. It’s just the biggest negative story, so it’s obviously the juiciest and reporters must run with it.

ML
Guest
ML
4 years 4 months ago

Yankee posts generate so much commentary

Calzoneh
Guest
Calzoneh
4 years 4 months ago

I knew something was fishy when the Mariners were willing to trade Pineda that fast. You don’t trade arms like that under team control for that long unless you know something.

binqasim
Member
binqasim
4 years 3 months ago

Yeah having Jesus Montero with similar contract was not a factor.

FuckDaveCameron
Guest
FuckDaveCameron
4 years 3 months ago

Dave Cameron is a fucking lazy idiot.

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