PINEDAf/x (and some projections)

Mailbag: Manny, Burnett, Andruw, Pineda, Joba
RAB Live Chat
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty)

There has been no lack of Michael Pineda PITCHf/x analysis in the aftermath of the Big Trade, and if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out Lucas Apostoleris here, Whelk at DRays Bay here and our pal Matt Imbrogno here. With these fine fellows having already done some of the legwork I was planning on doing, I thought I’d shift my focus to a compelling comp:

Feel free to guess in the comments, or find out what we’re looking at after the jump.

Player A is, of course, Michael Pineda, while Player B is Brandon Morrow. The table on top are both pitchers’ four-seamers in 2011, and the bottom table are both pitchers’ sliders. While the two aren’t exact duplicates of each other — Morrow’s secondary pitches are a splitter and curve; while Pineda, despite the two-pitch pitcher tag (which I admit to lazily using myself) actually does occasionally throw a cutter, two-seamer, and something PITCHf/x has labeled simply a “fastball” but based on velocity, horizontal and vertical break could be a hard splitter (I asked Lucas about this pitch on Twitter but haven’t yet heard back. ETA, 1:24pm: Just heard from Lucas; the pitch is actually Pineda’s changeup. His changeup is apparently a hard change and somewhat similar to splitter) — they’re pretty close.

Both are among the hardest-throwers in the game (Pineda’s four-seamer clocked in as the third-fastest in baseball last season, while Morrow’s was tied for 6th), with fastballs that generate significantly above-average Whiff rates, while each righty pairs his heater with a devastating slider that also generates an above-average Whiff%.

Morrow rode his ridiculously strong one-two punch to the best K/9 in the American League and was one of only two hurlers in all of MLB to crack the 10 K/9 mark last season (the other being free-agent-to-be Zack Greinke), while Pineda had the seventh-best mark in the bigs. A side-by-side comparison further illustrates the two pitchers’ similarities, with both accruing 3.4 fWAR last season in nearly the same number of innings pitched, though doing it in slightly different manners, as Morrow walked more men and gave up three more home runs; while Pineda was the beneficiary of one of the lower BABIPs in the league, helping him post an ERA nearly one full run less than Morrow’s. Both men are flyball pitchers, and both finished the season with identical xFIPs.

So the Yankees have ostensibly acquired a version of Morrow who is five years younger, walks fewer hitters, throws harder, and appears to have an even more diverse arsenal in the person of Michael Pineda. Jesus Montero who?

Moving on, reader Frank submitted a mailbag question earlier in the week asking for Pineda’s 2012 projections, and so below is a table of what Pineda did in 2011, what the five currently available systems see him doing in 2012, and the straight averages of those projections. It’s important to bear in mind that all of these projections — save SG’s CAIRO — are for Pineda as a Mariner, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

For the most part the systems agree that Pineda will at least pitch as well as he did in 2011, if not a tick better. Again, one should expect these numbers to be slightly worse across the board with Pineda moving from Safeco Field to the Bronx.

While the Yankee-adjusted CAIRO projection may seem a touch negative, among the many awesome things SG does is also occasionally offering percentile projections for certain players, and so you can also see how CAIRO thinks Pineda will perform as a Yankee at several different levels. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to think that Pineda could at the very least hit his 65th percentile projection of a 3.77 ERA/3.45 FIP, and if everything breaks right for the big right-hander, the 80th percentile projection, while a lofty perch — should he hit those marks, he would likely be among the top 20 pitchers in all of MLB — is not entirely unreasonable, either.

Mailbag: Manny, Burnett, Andruw, Pineda, Joba
RAB Live Chat
  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    Jesus Montero who? Come on dude.

    • Larry Koestler

      Tongue-in-cheek. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m going to miss the heck out of Montero.

      • TheOneWhoKnocks

        It’s too soon for me to allow anyone to mess with the Jesus

  • Rainbow Connection

    Brandon Morrow? More like Buddy Morrow.

    Seriously, I have no idea who Brandon Morrow is. NL is guess?

    • Rainbow Connection

      Wow. Jays SP. I’ve never heard of him in my life and I watch most Yankees game.

      • Mike Axisa

        He dominates the Yankees in Toronto, but they crush him in New York. It’s the weirdest thing.

        • Rainbow Connection

          I’m ashamed I didn’t recognize the name. It’s starting to ring a bell, though.
          The Toronto games depress me. That dark, dank dome in ill-repair with fake grass bums me out.

        • UncleArgyle

          You forgot to mention Seatle drafted him over hometown hero Tim Lincecum and then traded him for a more expensive relief pitcher…speaking of weirdest things…

        • nsalem

          I think Morrow has pitched better against the Yankees (though it’s true we have killed him a few times here) than he has against other teams. If Pineda only has accomplished what Morrow has at age 27 this would be a very disappointing trade. Morrow still has potential but he can also turn into a future AJ (great stuff with little results to show for it).

        • Sorian is a Liar

          The Man in White must have something to do with this.

        • Larry Koestler

          While the Yankees have hit Morrow in the past, he was downright untouchable last season, posting the lowest ERA against the Yankees among all starters who made a minimum of three starts against the Bombers.

      • Ray Fuego

        I didn’t know if you were serious or not lol

        This Morrow kid is pretty good, I’ll be ecstatic if Pineda performs anything close to that.

        • RkyMtnYank

          Pineda should be better.

      • nsalem

        your comment speaks volumes.

        • Bizzle

          Ditto…for someone who comments on here ALL the time, you should know who one of the better pitchers on a division rival is. But alas, you now fall into my generalized impression of most commentators on this board: uninformed, horribly biased homers.

          • Rick

            Oh get off your high horse. So the guy didn’t know who Brandon Morrow is. Do you know who Nato Jones is? Yea, exactly. I don’t know NATO, you don’t know Nato.

            • hogsmog

              I mean, I would at least BR the guy before yelling about how I don’t know who he is.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                It’s the comment section of a blog. Calm the hell down. I thought it was pretty funny, and can relate.

                I’m at the point where I know names, know they’re good, but can’t tell you what they look like or what makes them so special. I know Mat Latos is good. I know what team he plays for. Can’t tell you if he’s a right, lefty, power pitcher, or not. It happens.

          • Fin

            IT is a Yankee website, you have to consider it would be Yankee biased.

          • The 6’7 & Above Club


          • Rainbow Connection

            This comment is very uninformed. How ironic!

          • Rainbow Connection

            Should RAB set up a quiz to see who is allowed to comment here?

        • Rainbow Connection

          I also don’t pretend to know anything. I mostly just call people out on being a homer.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    Remember the edwin jackson that pretty much none of us yanks fans wanted? He’s coming off 3 straight seasons better than the one Pineda just had. I know Pineda is 23, cost controlled with crazy upside, but let’s temper our expectations.

    • AndrewYF

      You mean three seasons where he walked more batters and struck out significantly fewer? The dude had a career year in 2009, and hasn’t even come close to that in any other season in his career.

    • Preston

      In WAR yes, but that’s based on inning total. Pineda only threw 170 innings because the M’s kept him on an inning limit. If he’d thrown the 40 extra innings he would have well outpaced Jackson’s WAR.

  • Chris

    Seeing these numbers and more projections makes me feel much better about trading Montero. I have to admit, after I finished beating my dog because it wasn’t king Felix, I owe my dog an appology.

  • vin

    Too bad we couldn’t trade a reliever for him, like the Jays did with Morrow.

    • nsalem

      not just a reliever but a reliever with earring plugs. I wonder if anyone has asked League to remove them, because they are distracting. I always notice them.

      • Rainbow Connection

        Seriously? You comment here all the time and can’t use proper capitalization or commas? WTF!?!?!!

    • dean


  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    “While the Yankee-adjusted CAIRO projection may seem a touch negative…”

    Relative to what? Sure, I would hope for a little more than 168 IP, but other than that I would happily take a year like that for a 23 year old transitioning to the AL East. What’s the general expectation of Pineda?

    Nicely written as always, Larry.

    • Larry Koestler

      Thanks Wil.

      That’s a good question, and I don’t know that I have a great answer for it. I guess relative to expectations. I know that’s completely subjective, but I’m guessing most fans would probably be somewhat disappointed if Pineda posted an ERA above four — even though the more statistically-inclined among us would likely be just fine with a 4.06 mark — since Pineda is, to a certain extent, being sold to us as a #2 starter.

      • RetroRob

        Based on people’s obsession with Montero and the belief he really was the second coming, I would guess anything short of Bob Gibson 1968 will be viewed as a bust by some Yankee fans.

  • RkyMtnYank

    Morrow has always seemed very AJ Burnett like to me, he can be absolutely dominant for stretches and equally as bad for stretches. He has always had high strikeouts but has been fairly above the 4.0 ERA mark except for ’08 and just got to 179ip last year. I hoping for and expecting a lot more consistency from Pineda, especially when he gets used to pitching full ML seasons.

    • Jonathan

      I was about to write the same thing. This comp scares me only because of how much Morrow reminds me of AJ, with being a righty 2 pitch pitcher for the Jays that’s had several dominating outings against us. Very basic comp but it just scares me.

      My biggest beef with the trade is the risk. Montero has risk, but his risk is basically can he catch enough to be a VMart type catcher. Pineda could easily turn into one of the best pitchers in the league and it wouldn’t surprise me, but we’ve seen several of his type not reach their potential. I really thought just signing Kuroda for 1 year and going after Hamels/Cain/Greinke etc next year would have been the best move. Cash has made the smart move of not signing non-elite FA’s and I would hate to see us miss out on a chance for an ace next offseason. Maybe they sign Swish/Grandy/Cano/Ace of your choice but as the great post yesterday showed, that’s almost impossible with the budget they want to hit in 2014. I’m personally of the belief that they probably make enough money to have a $300MM payroll year after year and still turn a good profit but that 2014 budget is very tempting.

      • Preston

        The difference is their walk rate.

      • thenamestsam

        Yankees fans have been sullied on the idea of Burnett, and for good reason, but if Pineda turns out to be Burnett minus the injury problems…I’m fine with that.

        Burnett was damn good when he could stay on the mound throughout his 20s. He sucks now, but from his 2nd full season to joining the Yankees he had basically 1 year where he had a FIP over 3.5. He was a frequently dominant pitcher who just couldn’t stay on the mound. His 2 pitch mix had nothing to do with his injury problems, so I don’t think comping Pineda to A.J. should be viewed as a bad thing.

        If Pineda has the same season that say 25 year old AJ had, 204 innings with a 3.2 FIP, I’ll personally be ecstatic

        • RetroRob

          Yeah, really. If Pineada pitched as well as Burnett did up through 2009, and did so without all the injuries, he would more than fine.

  • Reggie C.

    I kinda harbored hope that the Yanks could similarly convert Joba to starter and use Morrow as an example. With the injury, that hope was dashed. Still, morrow is very promising and probably has the highest ceiling of anyone in that TOR rotation.

  • MattG

    I don’t know how to value a Morrow with better control. That sounds like it could be phenomenal.

    This is intriguing stuff, but finding comps on a pitcher based on pitch selection & movement, as opposed to peripheral stats, seems to lead to dubious conclusions. I’m not sure we should bother comparing pitchers if they have such dissimilar walk rates.

  • Whizzo the Wize

    Whizzo holds pitching akin to running a dictatorship: it all comes down to control.

    If Pineda maintains or improves a 2.9 BB/9 rate, Whizzo sees greatness.

    If Pineda matches Morrow’s career 4.5 BB/9, Whizzo sees mediocrity.

    • Mike Myers

      if he starts talking in 3rd person, what does whizzo see? crazy?

      • Gonzo

        That makes him Whizzo The High.

  • Lucas Apostoleris

    My apologies to Larry for not getting back to him sooner. Twitter messed us up.

    • Larry Koestler

      No need to apologize whatsoever Lucas; thanks again for the assist. I’ve updated the post as such.

  • thenamestsam

    Everything I read and see about Pineda makes me more and more excited to watch him this year. My hope is that he can repeat his 2011 peripherals (I’d expect to see a slight increase in ERA based on park), while throwing a few more regular season innings, getting to say, 190 total.

  • WayneD


    I get the sense your fighting mightily to find a reason to like (if not love) the Montero for Pineda trade.

    The statistical evidence cited in this article shows why I cringe every time someone claims player X is as good or better than player Y because of his bWAR or FIP or whatever initialism a given reader is in love with.

    The most important stats are those against better teams, particularly teams the Yankees have to beat. After all, almost anyone can beat up on bad teams, like the Padres. So, here’s my case.

    Pineda had a 3.74 ERA pitching about half his games in the best pitchers park in the AL, which means his ERA could easily be in the 4.50 to 5.00+ range in the AL East. His home/away splits also indicate he benefited from pitching in Seattle.

    The following facts are more disconcerting, however, especially when one of our favorite whipping boys (AJ) is thrown into the mix.

    Pineda v Boston, 1 GS: 14.54 ERA, .381 BA, .619 SLG, 1.028 OPS
    Burnett v Boston, 3 GS: 5.30 ERA, .250 BA, .471 SLG, .795 OPS

    Pineda v Angels, 1 GS: 12.60 ERA, .619 SLG, .967 OPS
    Burnett v Angels, 3 GS: 6.00 ERA, .458 SLG, .829 OPS

    Got a woody yet?

    Pineda v Tigers, 2 GS: 5.56 ERA, .413 SLG, .746 OPS
    Burnett v Tigers, 2 GS: 5.30 ERA, .286 SLG, .536 OPS

    Pineda v Texas, 3 GS: 4.74 ERA, .465 SLG, .735 OPS
    Burnett v Texas, no appearances

    So, against the four teams we most likely have to beat to get to the World Series, Pineda sucked! In fact, he sucked so much AJ was actually able to VASTLY outperform him against the same teams!

    Pineda also had a 5.30 ERA in three starts versus Toronto, more than half a run higher than AJ’s 4.76 ERA in 2 starts. (Encouraging, huh?)

    So, who did Pineda have great success against?

    Inter-league, 4 GS: 1.71 ERA (What a surprise: he beat up on the AAA league!)

    Twins, 2 GS: 1.64 ERA (another AAA lineup)

    A’s, 2 GS: 2.00 ERA (and yet another AAA lineup)

    Padres, 1 GS: 0.00 ERA (Oooh, now that’s impressive, nobody shuts down that powerhouse!)

    In all, Pineda pitched really well against two (2!) high-quality teams: the Rays, who are known more for their pitching than their hitting, and the Phillies, who had an off year at the plate.

    The evidence at this point indicates that this trade could easily go down as the worst trade in Yankees’ history! I hope to hell I’m wrong, but the evidence to the contrary isn’t impressive at this point.

    Frankly, Larry, I foresee a decline in our offense this year and next as many of our stars age further, and I think a young hitting star of Montero’s caliber would prove to be more valuable that Pineda longterm.

    I also don’t buy into the idea that Montero could never have a defensive position or contribute defensively. Manny was frequently horrible in LF for Boston, yet they wouldn’t have won two pennants without him.

    Also, both Posada and Piazza were weak behind the plate, yet one and possibly both of them will end up in the HOF.

    Furthermore, it seems to me we won 4 World Championship with Posada as our catcher. And almost every analysts cites our hitting in three primarily defensive positions (C, SS, CF) as a major reason we won those championships.

    So, if Montero produces 50-65 XBHs a year over the next few years, as I expect him to, this deal will be a complete bust unless Pineda turns out to by a #1-type pitcher.

    If Pineda ends up being a 3, 4, or 5, Cashman should be fired because the evidence cited above did not support making this trade.

    • Mike Myers

      1 or 2 GS is a terrible sample size, you know that.

      we can buy hitting…its hard to buy pitching.

      • TheOneWhoKnocks

        It’s just as hard to find a Miguel Cabrera as it is to find a CC. Either one would cost 150mil plus in free agency, but the strength in our system was pitching.

        • WayneD

          Excellent point. I agree entirely, particularly with your oblique comparison of Montero to Cabrera, because I think that’s the type of hitter Montero will be longterm.

          And how many hitters of Cabrera’s quality are there in all of baseball? Not many.

          • RetroRob

            Montero will never be as good as Cabrera. Get over the press clippings.

            • WayneD

              1) You don’t know that he won’t be as good as Cabrera. Nor, obviously can I guarantee he will be. Only time will tell for sure.

              2) I’m not basing my opinion on press clippings. I saw him play in the minors and majors: that’s what I’m basing my opinion on, along with his minor league and limited major league stats.

              3) the same thing you said for Montero could be true for Pineda. He may never be the pitcher the Yankees hoped for when they did this trade. Again, only time will tell.

              The ability of every young player to adapt to ML baseball and avoid or overcome injuries is always a crapshoot, along with an element of luck. One or both of these young men could succeed or fail, or fall somewhere between those polar opposites.

              We all, after all, bring or personal biases to the table in these discussions: some fans place greater emphasis on hitting, others on pitching. In the end, both sides are typically right or wrong 50% of the time.

    • Steve (different one)

      One start samples in the guy’s rookie year? Seriously?

      It comes down to scouting. Pineda is not a finished product. Many scouts believe he has #1 upside.

      The trade makes me nervous as hell, but it’s not because of any of the numbers posted above.

      • WayneD

        Mike & Steve:

        The problem is the preponderance of evidence. Pineda pitched poorly against virtually every team the Yankees have to beat to get to the World Series.

        You both make reference to one game sampling sizes, but the fact is he pitched poorly in seven (7) starts against four of our most important opponents. And AJ, as bad as he was last year, pitched better against those teams in eight (8) starts. That’s a valid reason for concern.

        Also, the comment that be “we can buy hitting” is an overstatement. Many of the best hitters are now tied up in longterm deals, and Montero projects to be an exceptional hitter.

        Also, my problem isn’t with acquiring Pineda; it’s that we overpaid for him. The stats I cited shows he wasn’t worth giving up Montero for.

        My one hope concerning Pineda is that CC will hopefully be able to teach him how to pitch more effectively against teams like Boston, the Angels, the Tigers, and Texas. Otherwise, I think Yankee fans may rue the day this trade was made.

        Being I lifelong Yankees fan of 50+ years, I hope Pineda does become a #1-type pitcher. I just don’t feel the evidence supported trading Montero for him.

        • V

          “Being I lifelong Yankees fan of 50+ years” you should be less foolish, but you aren’t.

          • WayneD

            What’s foolish is ignoring the fact that Pineda pitched even worse than AJ against Boston, Detroit, LAA, and Texas.

            Ignoring those stats won’t change the fact that he pitched very poorly (worse than AJ) against virtually every good team he faced: that would be foolish.

            My problem isn’t with acquiring Pineda; it’s what we gave up to get him.

            Show me the silver lining in Pineda’s awful performances against Boston, Detroit, LAA, and Texas before you can claim I’m being foolish. My concerns, based on the stats I cited, are valid.

            • V

              1) Take a statistics class.
              2) Learn what variance is.
              3) ???
              4) Profit.

              • WayneD

                I worked in international finance for 17 years. A good deal of that time was spent calculating risk and other factors on extremely complex financial instruments, such as interest rate swaps and exotic options. So, I assure you, I probably know as much — if not far more — about statistics, variance, and “Profit” than you do.

                I have absolutely no problem with you or anyone else holding a different opinion than I do. In fact, I hope everyone who disagrees with me about this trade is right because, ultimately, I want the Yankees to succeed far more than I want to be right.

                You can disagree with my interpretation of the available statistics, but baseless accusations, such as those you raised, are just that: baseless.

            • Steve (different one)

              My point is that AJ Burnett is 35 year old. He is what he is. He’s a finished product, more likely to get worse than better into his late 30’s.

              Pineda is 23! This was his rookie year. If he was 5 years into MLb and was still getting rocked by quality offenses, I would be nervous. He is NOT a finished product. You are acting like he will neve improve and be able to beat good teams. The Yankee scouts feel otherwise. That’s why they made the trade. The best prospects in the world should be expected to take some lumps as rookies, no??

              I think the trad is risky. Not trying to argue otherwise. But pointing out 7 starts in his rookie season just isn’t fair.

              • WayneD

                Valid points, Steve. But your points also serve to back up my concerns about this deal somewhat: i.e., that Pineda is still a developing and somewhat unproven commodity in terms of his ability to beat premiere teams.

                Hopefully, he’ll be great. But I think a trade of one of the Killer Bs + Noesi + a lesser prospect would have been more justifiable. Whether Seattle would have taken a package like that is another story, of course.

                • Needed Pitching

                  “that Pineda is still a developing and somewhat unproven commodity ”

                  so is Montero
                  They traded for Pineda based on his upside and future, not what he did last season

        • thenamestsam

          You just called a total of 7 starts “the preponderance of evidence”. Come on man, that’s just silly.

          There is no evidence that there is such a thing as a pitcher capable of dominating the bad teams who is horrible against the good teams. Bad teams have some good hitters and good teams have some bad ones. If you’re a good pitcher it will show up against good teams and bad given enough sample size. If “anyone” could beat up on the bad teams the way Pineda did last year, there would be a whole hell of a lot more guys putting up stats like his. There aren’t because he’s an excellent young pitcher who happened to have some bad starts against some good offenses.

          Basing your opinion on the trade on 7 starts instead of all 30 is plain dumb.

    • RetroRob

      “So, if Montero produces 50-65 XBHs a year over the next few years, as I expect him to, this deal will be a complete bust unless Pineda turns out to by a #1-type pitcher.

      So If Montero hits 25 HRs and 25 doubles as a DH or maybe eventually 1B’man, then anything short of CC Sabathia-level pitcher makes Pineda a bust?

      Come on, at least make some attempt to understand the value of front-line pitchers, mid-rotation pitchers, and back-end pitchers compared to DH/1B types. If I’m in the Mariners organization, I’ll at least give Montero a chance to catch, because his main chance of being an elite prospect is to hit as we believe he can, and to do it as a catcher. If he does it as a DH or 1B’man, then even Pineda as a #3 starter has more value. For the deal to swing in the Mariners favor if Montero is a DH/1B, meaning most of his value can only be delivered at the plate, then he will need to develop into a monster-level hitter. If Brian Cashman really does believe Montero is a Miguel Cabrera, Mike Piazza or Frank Thomas, then he should not have traded him away. He obviously does not believe that, and for good reason. Those are all HOFers and I’m comfortable in predicting right now that Montero will not be a HOFer.

      Secondly, while it’s nice that you looked up Pineada’s home-road splits, you might also want to dig a little deeper and look up his FIP, which will give you a much more accurate look at how he pithed as opposed to cherry-picking other stats or individual starts. His FIP at home was 3.62. His FIP on the road was even better at 3.26. His ERA was artificially high on the road because of a low strand rate, which is not predictive of anything. (I’m not a big fan of xFIP for reasons I won’t go over here, but for whatever it’s worth, his home/road xFIP splits were identical and equally strong at roughly 3.50).

      Like many here, I’m a big fan of Montero and was looking forward to him manning the DH slot in 2012, but as I’ve mentioned before, expectations on the kid were totally off the charts, especially considering his lack of a clear position. No need to declare that anything short of being a #1 pitcher for Pineada means Casman should be fired. A touch extreme.

      • WayneD

        Nice, well written post, RR. Three points of contention, though:

        1) I wasn’t “cherry-picking stats or individual starts.” I went in to look at Pineda’s stats specifically to see how he did against the teams most likely to stand between us and another World Series appearance: that is, Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Texas, and LAA.

        I went into the stats without any preconceived notions as to what the outcome would be. The fact that his stats were very bad against the four of those five teams isn’t my doing. That’s simply what the data showed. It’s a bit absurd to fault me for what Pineda’s stats showed against our main competitors.

        I assume you don’t disagree with me that those five teams are indeed our main competitors (i.e., Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Texas, and LAA). So, how was I “cherry-picking stats” then?

        I was also concerned about how he did against our division rivals, since most games, obviously, are played against them. Which is why I noticed he also performed poorly against Toronto.

        Given his poor performances against 5 of the first 6 teams I checked out, I began to investigate who he did perform well against, and I included that information in my post.

        2) You also stated the following:

        “So If Montero hits 25 HRs and 25 doubles as a DH or maybe eventually 1B’man, then anything short of CC Sabathia-level pitcher makes Pineda a bust?

        “Come on, at least make some attempt to understand the value of front-line pitchers, mid-rotation pitchers, and back-end pitchers compared to DH/1B types.”

        Well, I guess Brian Cashman doesn’t “understand the value of front-line pitchers (etcetera)” either, because RAB had the following post on January 15, 2012:

        “GM Brian Cashman tells Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Yankees will have made a mistake if Pineda never develops into a #1 starter”

        So, apparently my expectations are more in line with the Yankees’ expectations than yours.

        3) Lastly, I do expect Montero to be a major impact bat for the next decade if he remains health. I can’t guarantee that, just as you can’t guarantee “that Montero will not be a HOFer.”

        You don’t know he won’t, and I don’t know hat he will. But, that’s a pretty safe thing to say about any young player because only about 1% of the people who play the game make it into the HOF.

        So, that’s not exactly a bold predication, and you could easily say the same thing about Pineda. Hell, even CC isn’t guaranteed to get in yet, and he’s one of the best in the game.

    • Evan3457

      I’m shocked, shocked to find a rookie 2-pitch pitcher beat up bad teams, but had trouble against the better lineups in the league. What an amazing discovery!!

      The point about Pineda is that he has the goods, both stuff-wise and control-wise, and is only an effective off-speed pitch away from being an ace.

      Compared to pitchers, the growth of hitters is more predictable, and the path to greatness more direct. But for pitches at the high end of the talent curve, it can take much longer. They can appear to be floundering for a year, or several years, and then all of a sudden they add a new pitch, or sequencing clicks, or they add some extra movement on a pitch, and all of a sudden, they’re dominating the league.

      Pineda is already a good pitcher. With a bit of luck in the developmental area and a lot of luck in the injury area, he can be a great one. And he’s cost-controlled. And he belongs to the Yanees, alone, for the next 5 seasons, at least. That’s the point.
      And here’s some stats you left out…

      K/BB vs Red Sox: 4-1
      vs. Det: 13-4
      vs. Tex: 17-3
      vs. LAA: 7-2

      vs. all 4 teams who beat him up: 41-10
      Yeah, just like AJ. Oh, wait; it’s not, his K/BB against the 4 teams was 40-18.
      There’s a difference between being a weak defender at a position, and being unable to play it. Because they have almost no shot of being in the playoff hunt for the next 2 years or so, Seattle will be able to give Montero the full shot at catcher the Yanks could not would not have under Girardi/Cashman.

      If he doesn’t stay at catcher, there’s not nearly as much to lose by trading him if he’s forced to be a DH, or even a 1st baseman.

      Of the “four titles the Yanks won with Posada”, they also had one of the best rotations in baseball for 3 of them, and Mariano closing all 4 of them out. Young aces are being increasingly locked up by their teams; it’s relatively easier to sign top young hitters than pitchers. The Yanks grabbed Russell Martin off the scrap heap because the Dodgers lost faith. Fielder is STILL on the market.

  • The Lodge
    • WayneD

      Thanks for the good chuckle. Hopefully they’re right and we resign Montero in about six years, and Pineda turns into a #1 or at least a high-quality #2. That would be the best of both world at this point.