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Wait, Michael Pineda may not make the Yankees rotation now?

Mar 30, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

There has been an insane amount of attention paid to Michael Pineda this spring. First his weight, then his velocity. Now, if you can believe it, there are questions about whether he even makes the team:


That’s just insane to me. Not just because Pineda had a really nice rookie season last year which shows that he can get major league hitters out. And not just because he has been perfectly respectable this spring — he has struck out 16 batters in 16 and a third innings. But rather, because I can’t feature the Yankees wanting to deal with the talk radio and newspaper crap they’d get if the guy they traded for Jesus Montero starts in the minors.

Maybe they don’t care — the Yankees probably care way less about that stuff than a lot of teams — but starting Pineda in the minors seems like rash move.

  1. pellypell - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Talk of this happening started 2+ weeks ago:

    With Garcia in the mix and Pettite ready by May, it seems more and more likely.

    As a fantasy owner with Pineda as one of my keepers, all I have to say is this hurts, was counting on the big guy.

    • paperlions - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Of course, Pineda >>>> Garcia and >>>> Pettite and >> anyone else not names CC on the Yankees 40 man roster

      • odj810 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        he is a great talent but certainly isn’t made for the yankee’s ball park. he is coming from the most spacious park in the league to one that leftie’s hit pop ups that are home runs in yankee stadium. I think in the long run they will loose this trade.

  2. ezthinking - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Some dipshit writer says he’s not sure about Pineda in the rotation with zero team position and people take the statement as fact. Pathetic.

  3. yankees177 - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    I dont see why its so preposterous. The kid has just turned 23. And the other guys who he is competing with have also pitched well this spring. This is all about options. Pineda cam be optioned to AAA while Garcia cannot. An even bigger problem becomes evident when Pettitte is ready. Im all for starting Pineda in the minors. Hopefully Garcia has a good month or two to drive up his trade value. The yanks trade him and get a good prospect and develop Pineda and keep him fresh. He did fade down the stretch last year so I can’t see how this could hurt.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      This is all about options. Pineda cam be optioned to AAA while Garcia cannot

      So can Hughes and so can Nova, and Pineda has pitched better than both of them.

      • surefooted1 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Yea. If anyone should be optioned it’s Nova.

      • bronx0812 - Mar 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        no need to send anyone down. put hughes in the pen with joba out and keep pineda and garcia in the rotation til pettitte gets back then trade garcia. very simple

  4. kranepool - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    The Yankees never get grief from the NY sports media the last few years because most of those that now cover the team grew up Yankee fans and eventhough the claim they are no longer “fans” their writing and words say differently. Mike Francesa, Michale Kay, Filip Bondy, Andrew Marchant, Bob Klapish, Joel Sherman are all house organs for the team and besides it would cut into their time to talk and write about how the Mets suck.

    Some day one of the bunch I’ve mentioned will take off the Yankee jocks they’ve been sniffing and write about how Andy Pettite is the last pitcher of worth the organization has developed

    • genericcommenter - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      I don’t know. IPK might be decent, at least in the NL. Wang had a good 3 year run and still might do something else.

      Do only starters have “worth”? David Robertson just had a spectacularly awesome season after 2 good ones.

      The 2 remaining Bs have a decent shot, and a few other pitchers might have nice careers, especially with other teams.

      • lardin - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        You left out MO. Ted Lilly has had a good Career.

      • genericcommenter - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        Oh I definitely considered MO and Lilly. I didn’t think MO qualified as coming after Pettite, though. And Lilly played AAA with both the Dodgers and Expos, was a Baseball America top prospect, and reached the majors with Montreal before coming to New York- so it’s a stretch to say the Yankees developed him.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      The Yankees never get grief from the NY sports media the last few years

      Wait what? The get grief all the time. Granted it’s from terrible rags like the NYDN and NYP, but you honestly haven’t read one criticism of this team over the last few years?

    • henryd3rd - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Can you spell Nova? There are a lot of big league clubs that would to have developed a talent like Ivan Nova.

    • bigharold - Mar 30, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      “The Yankees never get grief from the NY sports media …”

      Have you EVER read Lupica? That’s ALL he does. His entire Yankee schtick is giving the Yankees grief. Hal Steinbrenner could make it rain beer and snow pizza and he give them grief about it.

      “Michale Kay”

      Leave him out of it, .. he works for them.

      “…Andy Pettite is the last pitcher of worth the organization has developed.”

      Aside from the pitchers already mentioned, … when was the last time the Mets developed a better pitcher? Doc Gooden?

      I understand your predicament completely, .. you’re a Met fan in a Yankee town and that sucks. Deal with it. I know what you’re going through because while I may be a Yankee fan, .. I’m also a Jet fan and have to hear it from Giant fans ad nauseum. At last I have the Yin and the Yang of NY sports teams. So if you can’t be a Yankee fan, .. try rooting for the Giants.

  5. phukyouk - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    I got no issues with this. I would prefer Pineda in the minors over Nova at this point. the question, as stated above, becomes what happens in May?

    • mordecofe - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Why would you say that? Pineda was miles better last year, and this spring has been better too. He’s got higher upside in addition to having better results.

      • phukyouk - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        MIles? come on.. you serious? his first half was amazing.. his second was shit. Nova only got better after going to the Minors.

      • mordecofe - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Deadly serious. Pineda had way more Ks, less BBs, and while his results didn’t reflect it in the 2nd half, he maintained his peripherals, and increased his GB%. All at 2 years younger than Nova.

        Don’t get it twisted, I think Nova is worth a rotation slot, but I think both should be ahead of Garcia – and Pettite.

      • odj810 - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        you realize he played in a pretty nice pitchers park. and not in the AL east and had a 3.74 era.that could be 4.5 in the knew park and division. even toronto’s lineup is stacked.
        That said he has all the right stuff, but rushing him into the AL east isn’t the best idea. I think the yankee’s organization know’s what there doing

  6. uyf1950 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Actually it makes all the sense in the world to send Pineda to the minors to work on some things.
    1) They have 6 legit starters for just 5 spots and they don’t need one of them for their bullpen. They have plenty of options for the bullpen without having to move one of the starters there.
    2) Garcia can’t be traded for approximately 60 days without his approval and he has shown this ST that he still has whatever it takes to get the job done as a starter.
    3) Nova deserves the benefit of the doubt after his 2nd half of last season to begin the season in the rotation.
    4) If they send Pineda to the minors he can stay there and be stretched out and get regular work and still be fresh for the 2nd half of the regular season.
    5) When or If Andy Pettitte is ready to make the jump back to the big league team sometime in May and the Yankees determine he still has what it takes they can then look to trade Garcia and bring back Pineda then.
    As history has shown us even sooner depending on injuries or whatever that are inevitable once the season begins. As they say most of the time these things tend to work themselves out. Those are just my opinions.

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      I agree with your assessment, uyf, except that Andy will be ready to go. Pineda in AAA won’t hurt anything, we’ll see how he does tonight, and the injury equation always pops up.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        yankeesfanlen, how are you doing?

        I think even if Andy is ready a little earlier he will stay in Tampa for extended spring training or whatever they call it. That’s assuming all the other guys are pitching up to expectations. Let’s remember Andy will be 40 this year and he did take a full year off. I don’t think it’s his arm that will take the time I think it’s his legs and building up the stamina to go go 6 or 7 or may be more innings per game after such a long layoff.

        I also thinks it far more important that Andy be FRESH for the 2nd half of the season and hopefully the playoffs considering his experience, should the Yankees be fortunate enough to make the postseason.

    • phillyphreak - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      If Nova deserves the benefit of the doubt, I think Pineda does even more.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        …and you just like everyone else has a right to their opinion.

      • phillyphreak - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM


  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    My guess (as I have said all along) is that Nova starts in the minors. Sure, it kinda sucks for Nova, but it is good for the Yankees since it allows them to preserve their depth. Maybe Pineda’s name is being thrown around so Nova does not feel like he is being picked on when it eventually goes down.Garcia to the bullpen makes no sense. Nova’s stats, other than wins, were not so impressive that he should be immune to a brief stint in Trenton.

    Here is the best plan yet: trade Nova (and more) for a good young cheap Brandon Belt type OF, trade Swisher to Atlanta for more young high-end pitching prospects. The 2012 team would not necessarily lose production, and this would do wonders for getting them under 189 without sacrificing 2014/2015 production.

  8. retief1954 - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Near-certain failure awaits again this season, NYY fans. No WS title for you – unh-unh. Your team is old, getting older, and the smattering of young guys they’ve brought in aren’t going to help much. Enjoy all those FAT contracts you’ve given out to guys who don’t cut it anymore. PLUS, your team is WAY overdue to get hit with an injury bug that affects more than a role player or two. I don’t like your chances. heh-heh-heh… it’ll be great fun watching you swirl and disappear again this year.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      that’s cool, who do you root for again?

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Had I known the Yankees would drive everybody crazy with Pineda, I wouldn’t have called them the clear winners here originally.

  10. 18thstreet - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Speaking as a biased observer (Red Sox fan), I don’t get this at all. If Pineda goes to the minors or only pitches 60 innings this year, then the Yankees made a pretty lousy trade, didn’t they?

    I was really depressed by this deal, but this is good news for me. I understand that Pineda had a lousy second half last year, but young pitchers often tire out as the year goes on. I expected him to return to his first-half self this April. Meanwhile, the Bombers have the oldest DH platoon I’ve ever seen when they could have used Montero there (and even had him play 30 innings behind home plate over 6 months of the season).

    I’m overreacting to a hypothetical, since this hasn’t happened yet. But I am really, really glad that Girardi isn’t my team’s manager (though I hate Valentine, so I need to stop saying that). His bias toward veterans is a huge weakness. He really needs to give younger players a chance to succeed.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      If Pineda goes to the minors or only pitches 60 innings this year, then the Yankees made a pretty lousy trade, didn’t they?

      No, for two reasons. One, as dumb as the hypothetical is (not yours, Marchand et als), if the Yanks brought Pineda back up in May/June, they’d gain an extra year of control. And Two, you shouldn’t judge a trade/signing based off one year.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        All reasonable points. But when you’re talking about two young players, it’s easier to make the comparison early. When a young guy (Bagwell) is traded for an old guy (Anderson), you don’t want to say anything for a while. But for year one of the deal (based only on this hypothetical), Seattle wins.

      • odj810 - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        his clock already startedlast year. I don’t think his control just stops if you decide to send someone down. Maybe i’m wrong?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        According to the guys at, it was about the only legitimate reason they could see doing this. Yes Pineda lost a year due to his time last year, but service time is time accrued while actually in the bigs (or on the MLB DL). If they kept him down for a few months, he wouldn’t have enough time to qualify for super-2 status.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        Your clock can definitely be stopped after it starts. There was a bit of a hullabaloo a couple years ago when the Brewers sent JJ Hardy down for three weeks in August, enough time to add one more year of team control and let them get a better return for him in the trade market. Of course, they promptly swapped him for Carlos Gomez, but that’s neither here nor there.

  11. randygnyc - Mar 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Girardi alluded to keeping Garcia for now. Nova has had just a fair spring, but he’ll get the nod over Pineda, because he’s already pitched well for the Yankees. Pineda goes down until his velocity reaches the high 90’s and he further develops his change up. Until then, he belongs in AAA. Pettitte is a left handed force of nature. Garcia is gone when he gets back.

  12. buffalomafia - Mar 30, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Either way we the NY Yankess will win!

  13. foreverchipper10 - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    If he ended up in the minors it would make me very sad to not be able to see him play as the Empire State Yanks are on the road all year due to stadium renovations

  14. bobwheel - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Judge the trade at the end of the year, not now. Based of what has been observed to date, a stint in AAA wouldnot hurt Pineda. Nova deserves to be in the rotation based on what he’s done, and Pineda needs more development. I don’t know why people are questioning the trade now, perhaps Pineda doesn’t make the team right now because the Yankees are that deep?

  15. yankee7fan - Mar 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Gosh lets not rely on relics and retreads, we are already doing that in the batting order

    If Pineida goes to minors and Campos bombs the M’s will have gotten two starters and the Yanks two trashcans
    The Yanks had projected Montero for stardom and also Noesi as the best of their young arms, this trade can end up being a disastor.

    My POV let the youngsters pitch. Let the youngsters play.

    The rotation should be CC, Nova, Hughes, Pineida and Koroda

    Line up .. should include Sanchez but they need some young athletic players in the field !!

  16. cackalackyank - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Instead of looking at it from the point of ‘what the beat writers will say if Pineda starts the year at AAA’….lets look at it this way….what if Pineda comes north right away…..and then get shelled in his first couple of outings at Yankee Stadium or in an AL East opponents park on the road. Then it won’t just be the beat writers involved, it will be the fans too. (Anyone remember Ed Whitson?) Why run the risk of turning this guy into a disaster. If the organization has watched and identified some areas for developement or refinement let it be resolved at the AAA level, not in ‘the crucible’ of the AL east which figures to be pretty darn intense.

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