Legends On Deck

Is It Time For The Yankees To Move On Without Michael Pineda?

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I rushed home last night, as I couldn’t wait to see the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays game. I settled down, turned on the TV and after the Yankees went down quietly in the 1st inning, it was time to see a new Michael Pineda at work.

Well he didn’t disappoint, as the first batter hit a home run on his third pitch. Ok, at least he was able to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs. Top of the 2nd inning, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a home run to tie the game.

I sat down for the 2nd inning and last year came back to haunt Mr. Pineda. After several hits, one hitting the catwalk, one play at home in which instant replay was put into play and the runner for Tampa Bay being ruled out, Pineda then had two outs and my stomach began to bubble, as Pineda was the worst pitcher in 2016 in getting the third out. Well Rays catcher, Derek Norris, who hit below .200 last year, hit a shot past the second baseman for a two-run single, then after he stole second, Corey Dickerson hit a single, scoring Norris with the 4th run.

So after two innings the Yankees were down 4-1 and anyone could see the look on the players faces on the bench as if the fight was taken out of them as Manager Joe Girardi also showed his displeasure in the dugout. It’s was also easy to visualize Yankees fans screaming with disgust at the TV screen, reminded of the fact that Pineda has gone winless in his last ten starts, a streak that now stands at 11. After 3 1/2 innings of work, Pineda was removed and the Yankees ultimately lost the game 4-1 as the Yankees bullpen, again for the third straight game, held the Rays scoreless.

I don’t believe Pineda will ever pitch well in New York. Many baseball players who have had great careers on other teams, also have failed in the New York limelight. Case in point: Look at Randy Johnson‘s stats with New York during his time there.

Watching Pineda’s body language, I don’t think he will ever recover in New York from what transpired last year when he had over 200 strikeouts, but had an ERA at 4.82 and a 6-12 losing record. Stats showed he lead all of baseball in giving up two out hits with men in scoring position, as last night was no exception. Maybe it is time for the Yankees to also give up on Pineda and try and get some thing of value back for him. The longer they wait the less his value will be for other teams. At 28 years old, he is still young enough to revitalize his career in a new setting, and possibly the Yankees can continue their recent trend of bringing back young and talented prospects.

I know that everyone says he has so much filthy stuff but what good is it if he cannot pitch in New York. I’ve seen pitchers with less stuff pitch a lot better and get better results than Pineda. Momentum is always how well the starting pitcher does and right now Pineda is taking momentum from the Yankees every time he pitches. If last year he would have gone 5-5 in those last ten starts, the Yankees might have been in the playoffs. The Yankees might as well have one of their younger pitchers out there learning on the job then having a pitcher who loses confidence after he gets two outs in an inning. I as a fan would appreciate watching that young pitcher than watching someone fall apart in every game and showing it for all of us to see.

Featured Photo: Getty Images

Elias Conde

Elias Conde

Elias is a native of the Bronx, NY and a lifelong baseball fan. In High School, he once pitched a gem on the same field as Ed Kranepool and grew up rooting for both the Mets and the Yankees. Elias is a retired NYPD and Ocala, FL Detective and spends his quality time with family and writing about the game he loves.
Elias Conde