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Michael Pineda may not be pitching before next June

Oct 22, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

pineda ap

Back in May Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda told a radio station that his doctor told him he’d be ready to pitch by spring training 2013.  That seemed kinda silly even back then, as most guys who have surgery to fix a torn labrum take way longer than that to come back, with some taking almost two full years.

Brian Cashman talked about Pineda yesterday and, yes, he agrees that next spring was overly-optimistic. He’s thinking the middle of next season:

“We have to keep him off our radar for now. … We’re talking June of next year … the second half of next year.”

While he may be a useful second half addition, for team-planning purposes the Yankees obviously can’t count on Pineda to be a real contributing part of the rotation before 2014, methinks.

  1. uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Me thinks, this means the Yankees will have to look at obtaining a pitcher during the off season. I don’t think they can go into the 2013 regular season with just: CC, Hughes, Nova and then Kuroda and Pettitte if both decide to re-sign with the Yankees and Phelps.

    Nova pretty much has stunk for all but about 2 months of the last 2 seasons and Phelps is at best a marginal 5th starter who seems to only be able to last 5 innings at the outside.

    How much can the Yankees reasonably expect out of Andy Pettitte even if he does re-sign. He’ll be 41 in June of 2013 and over the last 3 years he’s not pitched very many innings: In 2010: 129 innings, In 2011 he did not pitch and in 2012: 75 innings.

    Just my opinion.

    • js20011041 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      It’s amazing that teams with payrolls like the Yankees and Red Sox could have such huge holes in their rotations, but I guess this is a lesson for all teams. Probably the most important thing for an organization is to develop it’s starting pitching.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Not speaking for Red Sox fans. But most teams and their fans have the luxury of the “wait till next year” philosophy. That is not the case with the Yankees. The philosophy has been at least since the Steinbrenner family has owned the Yankees win now and keep on winning. And they have been very, very successful at it. For the most part when you consistently draft at the bottom of the list of teams it’s nearly impossibly to develop young good pitchers. At least that’s my opinion.
        Personally as a Yankee fan for give or take 50 years I much prefer the Yankees win now philosophy and keep on winning. I’m not big on the wait till next year concept. Because for all to many of those teams next year never comes.

      • js20011041 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        I understand what you’re saying, but for me as a Red Sox fan, I really don’t like the teams that this organizaiton has put on the field over the last several years. The Red Sox have been following the Yankee model of putting together a lineup full of high priced super stars and it’s just no fun to root for. It’s like pulling for the Yankees and it makes you feel dirty. I’d much rather root for a team of home grown players, even if it means that they don’t field a virtual all star team.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Yankees and Red Sox could have such huge holes in their rotations, but I guess this is a lesson for all teams

        What holes do the Yanks have? Is it not having a #1 starter for all five starting positions? (lots of ifs incoming, but I digress) If they resign Kuroda, which they should do everything possible to do, and resign Andy, a front four of CC/Kuroda/Pettitte/Hughes is a really good rotation. That leaves Nova/Phelps to fight for the 5th spot. That’s a good rotation, maybe not SF/LAA good, but a lot better than what many other teams throw out there.

        Now throw in uyf’s comments, and remember that the Yanks also traded for Pineda and brought up Chamberlain as a starter that hasn’t worked out, and the Yanks have run into some bad luck as well in developing pitching.

      • js20011041 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        Well if they’re bringing back Pettitte, there’s one. At his age I just don’t know that you can count on him for anything. He may very well come back and have a great year but it wouldn’t surprise me if he came back, pitched poorly for a couple of months and retired by June. Phil Hughes is another. His 4.23 ERA may have been respectable in 2001, but not in today’s game. Regardless of his stuff, at this point he’s got a fairly substantial track record of not being a good pitcher. Kuroda has been good, but he’s also on the wrong side of 35. We’ll see what happens with Sabathia’s elbow. Pineda’s not coming back until at least June and frankly, who knows what you’re going to get with him? If it was Tommy John surgery, I’d say he’d be fine, but not with shoulder surgery. Nova was awful. Phelps, in limted work, put up decent numbers, although his peripheral stats say he should have put up a 4.32 ERA.

        If everyone comes back healthy, then you’ve still only got solid starters in the first three spots with Sabathia/Kuroda/Pettitte. Hughes, Nova, Phelps, Pineda, and in my mind at least, Pettitte are all question marks.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        js2001…The mistake the Red Sox made is thinking they are like the Yankees they are not. I’m also perplexed by your comment about rooting for a Red Sox team of home grown players. The Red Sox team that won their 2 World Series Titles were no more home grown than the Yankees maybe even less so. The 2004 team had players like: Ramirez, Damon, Ortiz, Kapler, Schilling, Lowe, Martinez and Foulke just to name a few. None of those guys were “home grown”. And the same goes for the 2007 World Series team.
        You known that supposed “home game sellout” record at Fenway. It started around the year the Red Sox started winning with “other” teams players that the Red Sox got.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Except a 4.23 ERA is a 99 ERA+, or the very definition of league average. He’s also not a FA until after next year, so throwing 192 IP of average pitching does have value even if you think it doesnt. His peripherals also suggest (3.62 K/BB) that if he can get his HR problem fixed (1.6 HR/9) that he can be a good pitcher.

        The Yanks are going to be in an interesting position if he improves upon this past year, because it’s obvious he was running out of gas at the end of the season. If he puts up a 200 IP season with say a high 3’s era (3.75 or so), it may be hard to resign him (he’s only 26 this year).

      • uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        church, the 2014 Free Agent class for starting pitchers could be pretty interesting. As of now and of course it may very well change there are some pretty decent starting pitchers scheduled to be free agents for the 2014 season. Which may depress some of their asking prices. But like I said that could all change in the next 12 to 14 months.

      • protius - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        You beg the question. You are assuming that the Yankees currently have huge holes in their rotation. Kuroda had a very good season, and Pettitte’s performance, although limited, proved that he can still pitch in the major leagues. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that the Yankees won’t bring Kuroda back for at least one more year, or that Pettitte will not return for one more one.

        In 2013, the Yankees will find themselves in the same situation that they found themselves in in 2012, i.e., at least six pitchers to fill five positions.

        Please explain the connection between size of payroll, and a team having holes in their rotation? Don’t the small market, smaller payroll teams have the same problems?

        Didn’t the Yankees and the Red Sox try to address their rotation needs via the trade market, and player development?

    • js20011041 - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM


      I’m basically referreing to the Red Sox of the 7 or 8 years. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used “homegrown.” That’s only partially what I meant. What I’m also referring to is the Red Sox fielding a lineup, similar to the Yankees, that had several “superstars.” They actually have had some homegrown players. Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, Papelbon, and Bard were all drafted and developed by the Red Sox. Mostly what I’m referring to is trading for an Adrian Gonzalez and signing him long term. Trading for Josh Beckett and signing him long term. Trading for and signing Curt Schilling. Signing Dice K, Lackey, and Crawford. Attempting to trade for A-Rod. This has been the model that the Yankees have followed since the early 2000’s. The main point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard to root for a team that is spending $100 million on it’s starting nine alone. It’s just not any fun.

      • weaselpuppy - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        oh, and it’s not even as good as Detroit’s rotation, yknow, the one that held the Bankees to 2 runs in 4 games…….(no respect, lemme tellya, no respect )

        And for the Yankee optimists, here’s a dose of an alternate reality

        CC has a tender elbow which no one knows what that is truly all about at this stage. Pineda even when he gets back mid decade may not pitch well. Pettite is 40 and about done. Derek. Lowe. (insane giggling commences) Kuroda may sign elsewhere. Hughes is basically Rick Porcello, 3 yrs older with less upside. Phelps is a marginal back end guy. Banuelos and Betances? yeah, notsomuch.

        Good luck with that payroll reduction fellas. Maybe Eddie Whitson and Al Leiter can be borrowed from the cast of the Walking Dead and jammed in the rotation

      • uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        weasepuppy, I just love it when a fan or hater cherry picks such a short window to try and make his point.
        Because if I wanted to I could point out that the Tigers in 2012 won only 1 game of the 6 they played against the Mariners. And that one game Verlander beat Millwood not exactly the cream of the pitching crop. Does that mean the Mariners are a better team than the Tigers? Of course not.
        In any given short series it’s very possible in fact likely that one team will get hot while another team gets cold. That’s just the way it works out some times.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        weasel…, BTW, as for your reference to the “Bankees”. I’m curious is there really any player on this years Tigers team that that hadn’t played for another team in the last 3 to 5 years other than Verlander. Because it surely it’s Fielder, Fiester, Cabrera, Young or a few of the others. And let’s not forget the Tigers paying through the nose for V-Mart who was out with an injury this year.
        So please the last thing someone should do is try and think of the Tigers as the virtue of homegrown/cheap talent. Because they aren’t.

      • protius - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Weasel- A sneaky person. On Internet forums they are often a liar, fake or poser (Urban Dictionary).

  2. js20011041 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    That sucks, for the kid at least. Feel bad for Pineda. Not so much for the Yankees.

  3. atworkident - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    They got Ichiro for nothing because of it. Who cares.

    • freeagentsignee - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      FYI, atworkident, that was not the offseason Pineda deal. That was the late July deal.

  4. ericellers - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Add comment

  5. cackalackyank - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Well this isn’t good but just imagine how the agents for all the mediocre pitchers are taking this…not to mention the slobering going on in anticipation of CC’s elbow exam. Me thinks the Yankees will be testing that commitment to get under the 189 million in payroll real quick.

  6. indaburg - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    I think Pineda meant his Dominican doctors could get him ready by spring training. A little piss o’the virgin, some brujería and juju, some stem cells, some don’t ask me what’s in the needle–better than new.

  7. koreanfandeath - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I’m not sure if ortho surgeries have progressed since 2004 when this article was written, but it doesn’t bode well for Pineda. I always feel sorry for players who get injured before they get a chance to sign their big contracts.

  8. dgmorris1963 - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM


    Yurushite kudasai, I was busy pulling my banana out of your mother’s mouth.

  9. freeagentsignee - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I agree Craig.
    Get well Michael!

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