New York Yankees: My never read theory about Michael Pineda New York Yankees: My never read theory about Michael Pineda New York Yankees: My never read theory about Michael Pineda

New York Yankees: My never read theory about Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote this post almost two weeks ago and never published it because when I read it to a friend and my father they both said I was being oversensitive about my theory of what could happen to Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda.

So, I wimped out.

And now look what happened…last time I don’t listen to my gut because I totally regret it now.

So here it is the theory I did NOT publish, just a day late and a dollar short.

Everyone in Yankee Universe remembers the disasters of 2008.

Not making the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons was not exactly the ideal sendoff for the historic old Stadium that the franchise had called home since 1923 but that is not what I am talking about.

I am referring to the Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain fiasco.

In 2008 the ‘Big 3’ was deemed the “future of the franchise” and the New York media had a field day with them, especially Chamberlain after throwing the infamous “bug game” in the 2007 ALDS in Cleveland.

The problem came when dealing with the pressure and relentless attention paid by the New York media vultures. The press hounded these kids and made everything that much harder, as there was no room to fail.

If you don’t think that the media wasn’t one of the major culprits that hindered the trios development you are crazy.

Yes, everyone is well aware of the media that comes with playing in New York but it should have been more controlled by the Yankees front office, or some veteran players could have stepped in.

Regardless, what happened to Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain seems to be getting repeated with the Yankees new young pitcher Michael Pineda.

It is only the second week of Spring Training and Pineda has already stated a few times that he is very uncomfortable with the 20 or more media that surround his locker.

The 23-year old hails from the Dominican Republic; English is his second language and like most who are bi-lingual, it doesn’t flow out as easily. Add that to the fact the Pineda is already shy by nature and you have a recipe for trouble.

I get that the media hounds come out in droves for anything and everything Yankees related, but there has to be a better solution to protect guys like Pineda; at least for Spring Training so they can get adjusted.

There is no fine line drawn between reasonable and merciless regarding young, imports like Pineda. Having five reporters is reasonable, but having 30 is not and considering the detrimental effects that added anxiety can have on someone’s psyche it has to be fixed. 

Regarding Pineda, if the Yankees front office or managers continue to allow this crap to go on again… it is on them because Pineda has openly expressed himself.

And the effects of losing Pineda to Triple A, a mental breakdown or an avoidable injury due to distractions could land the Yankees right back in 2008 again.

Stop the headlines saying that Pineda could start down in Triple A because of his fastballs velocity; you sound ignorant and desperate to make drama. Just yesterday, Pineda pitched just shy of four-innings vs. the Nationals and allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Pineda’s newly added change-up looked awesome in his third spring outing. And if he can master that third pitch to go with his fastball and slider, watch out.

Skipper Joe Girardi seems to think the media attention is good practice for Pineda so he gets ready for life in the Bronx, but I disagree.

Let the kid adjust slowly and distract the media from bombarding him so he can get to where he needs to be.

This is not a soap opera; this is Pineda’s future and he is the Yankees future and it is time to learn from the mistakes made in 2008 by embracing him instead of exploiting him.

Pineda is the real deal, like Chamberlain was, Kennedy is and Hughes still might be, so now all you can do is hope the Yankees take note this time. And that means now. The end.

Fast-forward to today, and Pineda is not one of the five pitchers in the Yankees 2012 starting rotation.

Instead Pineda will start the 2012 season on the 15-day DL, as an MRI confirmed that the soreness he felt in his shoulder is actually tendonitis.

Now if this doesn’t sound all too familiar you should get your head checked.

The question I can’t answer is why the Yankees did not make sure Pineda  was training, or playing Winter Ball during the off-season?

Obviously the Yankees front office did not learn anything from the Hughes and Joba mistakes, or they didn’t care too and that is their own fault.

GM Brian Cashman and skipper Joe Girardi need to treat these youngsters with kid gloves because obviously they cannot be expected to handle themselves, as the days of Derek Jeter’s are long gone now.

This is the new generation of pro-athlete. And it seems these youngsters need to be guided with a firm hand at first or else they will fail from either thinking they are untouchable, or like in Pineda’s case, try too hard because they are scared.

Either way everyone loses. 


  1. Steve Karsay says:

    Winter ball was out of the question since his 2011 workload increased by 30 innings pitched. Pitching in the bigs for the first time that extra 30 innings probably felt like more on Pinedas body and mind. He should have definitely been working out harder though.

    • LLP says:

      Supposedly he wanted to play but Mariners said no….and that is probably the reason he came to camp heavier. Some people are even claiming he is doing it on purpose to preserve his arm….that I don't believe.

      I think the kid got overwhelmed with all the negative press about his velocity, which in turn made him do anything to get it up. By not throwing from his legs… he hurt his shoulder, which happens a lot when pitchers start throwing for the radar gun.

  2. Tino says:

    What does the excessive media attention have to do with his injury?

  3. Richard Griffith says:

    "The question I can’t answer is why the Yankees did not make sure Pineda was training, or playing Winter Ball during the off-season?"

    I think winter ball ends in Dec or Jan. We signed Pineda in Jan. Moreover, pitchers reported in Feb so there was little time to control his intake of Big Mac's.

    So I guess when he pitches well it's not the Media, but when he pitches poorly it's the media or Yankees fault. Thanks DR Kate!!

    • LLP says:

      The Yankees should have sent a trainer or make sure he was getting into shape.

      Look what Joba and Hughes did when the Yankees trusted them to be ready for the season….Joba got a DUI and a brawl at a strip club and Hughes couldn't pitch. Pineda is too important considering the Yankees gave up #1 prospect and another good one for him to come here. Nothing wrong making sure you get everything possible out of an investment.

      • Richard Griffith says:

        Was Pineda out of shape the second half of 2011? Why did his numbers do up dramatically?

        How can the Yankees monitor bad behavior 24 hrs a day?

        I bet their contract has provisions regarding staying in shape etc. But CC Sabathia put on 20-30 lbs DURING the season and the Yanks could not keep him away from his Captain Crunch. So its easier said than done.

        • LLP says:

          Yea but Richard CC had earned the right to do what he wants because he is a proven winner, and would never do anything that would prevent him from taking the mound.

          Pineda started to show signs of added weight in Seattle but the Mariners had an innings limit on him too.

  4. ken says:

    i could not agree more. what i can not comprehend is why the management (front office) and that numbnuts giradi do not understand how to handle an investment. not winning a world series is more on them rather than the players, especially the young ones. no matter how you cut it, it's their responsibility to protect, nurture and develop players, it does,nt end with signing them. as far as the press goes, its quite simple, close the playing field, dugout and club room to all but three of those vultures on a rotating basis for an hour a day. let the guys do thier job (players) and they will bring titles again as they did in the 50's & 60's.

    • LLP says:

      Ken I hear you…the Yankees have to take responsibility here with Pineda. Cashman sent Hughes to a sports training place in the off-season, and he looks better (for now) so I don't understand why they didn't monitor Pineda. Especially since he struggled some at the end of last year, but I think they blamed that on the Mariners stinking as a whole. Who knows but something has to be done because this is now a pattern and a bad one.

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    What worries me is not his media shyness, but his inverted "w" delivery. This guy will have shoulder trouble his whole career. Now I didn't know this when the Pineda-Montero deal went down, but you'd think Cashman would have. I wonder if maybe Campos wasn't the pitcher they really wanted. Put this together with the 20lbs. he added this off season and there's reason for concern.

    • LLP says:

      Tom – Pineda was sidelined in 2009 for almost the whole season in the minors because of an elbow issue and it is all connected (shoulder). I wrote about this when the Yankees first traded for him but at least they gave him a proper physical… something they did not do with Hughes & Joba.

      I think the media made Pineda overcompensate on the mound by trying to throw harder in wake of all the velocity talk and he wound up hurting himself in the process.

  6. Tanned Tom says:

    What I really can't understand is why young players can ever come to camp out of shape. Guys who take conditioning seriously have long and productive careers ( see Jeter, Rivera), guys who don't have shorter careers or are bounced from top clubs. Melky Cabrera was traded over conditioning issues and he's still got that double chin with the Sf Giants. Hughes has sabotaged the first part of his career with a lousy attitude toward being in shape, and is only now looking like a professional athlete. Sabathia's weight is a joke and Swisher waits until his walk year to get into top shape. These seem to forget that playing a game for a living is a rare privilege, and one that lasts a pretty short period of time. I always remember Curt Flood writing in his autobiography about how seeing Stan Musial work so hard inspired him to put in the extra effort. I wish more of today's players felt the same way.

  7. Frank Spero says:

    typical yankee asshole manager's reaction they should deep six girardi