New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda

New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda

Michael Pineda

Image via Wikipedia

The New York Yankees quiet off-season just got loud, as GM Brian Cashman finally dropped the hot stove hammer by reinforcing the starting rotation, and reaffirming the Yankees ‘winning now’ mantra.

The word came via the Associated Press that Cashman had traded for pitching phenom Seattle Mariners Michael Pineda, as well as inked a one-year, $10 million deal with Los Angeles ace Dodgers Hiroki Kuroda; and with that Yankee Universe is realigned for 2012.

Michael Pineda:

I have been a big supporter of Pineda since last May, as I told Yankee fans to keep an eye on what I deemed him as Seattle’s New Prince.

And just as I thought Yankees top prospect Jesus Montero was part of the payment, as Montero gives a needed boost to a now anemic Mariners offense. The Yankees also added RHP Hector Noesi to secure Pineda; so if all physically clear Noesi will be heading to the West Coast with Montero.

Getting back to Pineda…

At 6’7, this almost 23-year-old (birthday – 01/18) righty is hard to miss, but regardless of Pineda’s build this kid can throw.

In the minors, Pineda struck out 396 batters in just over 404 innings pitch, and was the youngest pitcher the Mariners ever named a starter out of Spring Training in 2011.

Pineda made his Major League début on April 5, 2011, which was also his first full season. Pineda went 9-10, posting a 3.74 ERA, and giving up 133 hits, 71 earned runs, 18 home-runs, walking 55 batters, while striking out 173.

The first half of the season Pineda looked unstoppable, as eight of his nine wins happened prior to the All-Star break, and his ERA dipped as well, going from 3.03 to 5.12.

Overall this kid had a stellar rookie year, even with the disappointing second half because his stuff has a-c-e written all over it.

Pineda’s Pitches:

Pineda’s plus fastball averages in the mid 90s, as he can literally put it anywhere, and it is by far his best pitch.

Pineda also keeps batters on their toes with a deceptive slider and change-up. Over the two years he has added a cutter and changed grips to improve his change-up to almost a fulltime plus pitch.

Pineda’s choice command is improving for all of his pitches. He pounds the strike zone, and avoids deep counts. He held righties to an MLB low with a .184 batting average in 2011.

Pineda’s Potential Problem:

A serious worry about Pineda is his wild mechanics and the damage it has already done on his elbow. The elbow sidelined him for almost all of 2009, and could very well be the reason for his second-half struggles in 2011.

At times Pineda’s motion can be awfully painful to watch, and his dominant height doesn’t make things any easier.

Pineda does throw off his legs to keep pressure off his elbow, but scouts are worried that could eventually affect his rotator cup.

Look, Giants ace Tim Lincecum was overlooked due to his mechanics, and scouts are still kicking their own butts about missing the Freak.

Sometimes what might not look pretty is actually comfortable, but in Pineda’s case the past soreness and DL stint does pose enough reason to keep an eye on him, as it should.


Montero and Noesi for Pineda is a solid move, as the Yankees still hang onto the killer B’s and boost their rotation for the future.

The upside looks to be gigantic, even if Pineda does need Tommy John at some point, which would be a worse case scenario.

Pineda is literally CC Sabathia’s mini-me, as he can learn how to use his big frame effectively from the Yankees ace. And Sabathia could not be a better or nicer mentor to have.

Cashman gets a grade A from me, as I was hoping for this trade to go down a year ago but better late than never.

Next Up…I will evaluate the signing of Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers, but I already like the idea of a one-year deal at $10 million for a real innings eater.

 Cashman is a lot slicker than fans give him credit for after these two moves. Nice work…



  1. New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda - BallHyped, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs says:

    […] Home › MLB › New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda […]

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Good analysis. This coupled with the Kuroda signing has got to mean that at least 1 of the other 3 starters (Burnett, Hughes, Garcia) will be traded. Neither Burnett or Garcia figure to be the long reliever/spot starter. That should be Hughes who has actually been most effective as a reliever. Which means that either Burnett or Garcia should be without a seat when the music stops. I'm thinking that by acquiring both Kuroda and Pineda, there might already be a trade in the works. Since Freddy had a fine year in 2011, the obvious one to go is Burnett.

    • I agree but remember that Pineda only threw 171 innings last season, as he was shut down and he has had elbow issues so I would presume, knowing the Yankees they will implement and innings limit. I would doubt that either killer B would start the season in the Bigs and even if they did the innings limits will not allow for a full season at all.

      Hughes to the bullpen in long relief is perfect, but my guess is it will be Sabathia, Nova, Kuroda, Burnett, Pineda and Garcia fighting for spots. Unless the Yankees plan on carrying a six man rotation all season, which would be a long shot.

      Also, the Yankees might be hiding the severity of Nova's elbow injury as it looked like it hurt in ALDS Game 5 pretty badly. And the Yankees might know something we don't yet…..that is just possibility that would not surprise me at all.

  3. thomas catanzarita says:

    as i said on twitter Yanks add two great pitchers in one night! Pineda, Nova, Banuelos and Betances #newcorefour ?

    • Thomas I see wehre you are going but I think you are about two seasons too early. This year the killer B's will start in Triple A would be my guess; and Nova and Pineda can work out the kinks, while staying healthy.

      Also, the original Core Four were all homegrown and Pineda is not a Yankee-lifer so that kind of makes it impossible to carry that label….don't you think??

  4. thomas catanzarita says:

    lol yea sorry jumped the gun just excited!

  5. Richard Griffith says:

    You stated "Over the two years he has added a cutter and changed grips to improve his change-up to almost a fulltime plus pitch"

    According to FanGraphs:
    In addition, his changeup is really a non-factor at this point, considering he threw it for a ball half the time and couldn’t get batters to miss when they offered at it.

  6. […] « New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda […]

  7. Richard Griffith says:

    You need to check your facts on Nova. Nova had a mild forearm strain NOT an elbow injury. And Marc Craig twitted in Nov " Cash talked to reporters this morning at a coat drive in Times Square. Says Ivan Nova (forearm strain) was cleared by Dr. Ahmad."

    And Hughes is 2 seasons removed from an 18 win season. Unless he has a lousy spring look to him to secure a rotation spot or be used as trade bait. But as Cash has always said, you never have enough pitching.

    • LLP says:

      Richard…any sports fan knows that teams play down injuries and the Yankees are known for it. Nova is young and as someone who personally had elbow surgery last year, I can tell you it is never a good sign.

      I was at ALDS Game 5 and the pain was so bad he could barely throw it; evident from his two hrs he gave up right away. So, the fact is that it hurt enough that he couldn\’t pitch past the first inning, and that is a fact….

  8. […] New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda ( […]

  9. Richard Griffith says:

    Sounds good to me except it was his forearm and not his elbow and he required no surgery. So your point is what?? That he had pain?

    According to MLB: right-hander Ivan Nova suffered a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right forearm in the second inning of Thursday's ALDS Game 5, the team announced in a news release Friday.

    Nova was examined by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad at New York Presbyterian Hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed the injury. The Yankees said they expected the injury to "heal without complications" during the winter.

    At least have the journalistic integrity to admit you don't know your forearm from your elbow!!!

    • LLP says:

      Richard I hear you but the forearm is usually tendon related somehow; and I wound up having the surgery after about 3 years of doing everything to avoid it. And mine was a tennis injury…if it is avoidable and with the off-season time, Nova can get the top rehab to strengthen the forearm.

  10. Richard Griffith says:

    No Dr. LLP – a grade 1 flexor strain is muscle related. And I re-watched ALDS Game 5 tonight and Nova gave up the 2 hrs in the first and still continued to have velocity and broke off the breaking pitches. And yes, he pitched thru the second inning not the first ( you sure you were there?). There was never any sign he was in pain. Hughes came on in the third inning.

    You need to cut your losses.

    • LLP says:

      Yes, but Richard if you recall Joba was diagnosed with a strained flexor before needing Tommy John surgery so it is some what of a concern.

      • Richard Griffith says:

        Yes, in his ELBOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not his forearm like Nova. Similar but vastly different.


  11. […] New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda ( […]