Nov
11

Mailbag: Michael Pineda and 2014

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(REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

JW asks: Given that the Yankees truly appear committed to 2014 payroll plan, does the Michael Pineda trade look even worse in hindsight? In other words, it always seems like there are starters who can be had on one-year deals, but as we can see, even guys like Torii Hunter look to be in a position to command multi-year deals. In other words, for payroll management, the Yankees would have been better off with the relatively low-cost hitter under control instead of a pitcher.

I disagree with that, I think the exact opposite it is true. It seems to be much easier to find position players willing to take a one-year contracts than starting pitchers, or at least starting pitchers who can have a real impact. Let’s not go off memory though. With some help from the MLBTR Transaction Tracker, here’s a breakdown of one-year contracts by position over the last three years…

  • Catchers: 31
  • Corner Infielders: 29
  • Middle Infielders: 32
  • Outfielders/DHs: 63
  • Starters: 50
  • Relievers: 69

These are guaranteed contracts only, so no minor league deals. If you click the link and dig through the data, you’ll see that nearly all of the catchers were backups and that the vast majority of the starting pitchers were reclamation projects, guys like Erik Bedard (three one-year deals), Chien-Ming Wang (three), Ben Sheets (two), Bartolo Colon (two), Scott Olsen (two), Rich Harden, Justin Duchscherer, so on and so forth. In fact, the best one-year deals given to starters these last three years went to Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte. It’s not all that close either. Feel free to look for yourself.

I didn’t like the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade because a) I (foolishly?) held out some hope that Montero could catch for at least two or three years before moving out from behind the plate, and b) I thought the Yankees needed the young bat. That said, it was easy to see why they made the trade. Ivan Nova was the team’s only other established starter aside from CC Sabathia, and he had one full season under his belt. Compared to what other young guys like Trevor Cahill and Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez were fetching in trades, the Yankees actually got a steal. That sounds hilarious in retrospect, but it was true at the time of the trade. Things have just gone horribly wrong since.

The Yankees need to add some offensive pieces at the moment, but their top four prospects are all position players. With Phil Hughes due to become a free agent after next season, Nova and David Phelps represent the team’s only two young and cost-controlled starters at the big league level, and Nova just had a terrible year while Phelps has eleven career starts to his credit. Pineda has been a non-factor at this point and I’ll continue to consider him one going forward until he actually gets on a mound. Outside of Kuroda and Pettitte, there are no starters available on one-year deals who are slam dunks to upgrade the rotation. There are plenty of hitters who could help on one-year pacts, however.

Categories : Mailbag

75 Comments»

  1. Conor says:

    I agree with Mike. With the exception of Kuroda and Pettite, the only quality pitchers that would likely be available on one year deals are coming off of major injuries or have an injury concern like Haren.

    Given this, the Yankees probably should look at acquiring a starter for beyond this season. What do you think of a trade based on Granderson for Shields? Shields’s contract is much more favorable so the Yankees will need to add money and another player, but it seems like it would address the Rays need for another quality hitter and the Yankees need for a top-notch starter. How does Granderson, Nunez and $5 million for Shields sound?

    • Preston says:

      Trades within the division rarely happen, and Granderson is expensive and only signed for one year. The Rays would probably prefer to deal one of their starters for young cost controlled players.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah, if I’m the Rays I do not take one year of Granderson at $10 (15-5) million plus Nunez for Shields.

        • Preston says:

          They are rumored to be going hard after Justin Upton, which would be a much better way to use their resources both monetary and the excess of starting pitching.

  2. The Moral Majority is Neither says:

    I liked the Pineda~Montero trade from a pitching for offense perspective. Its the damaged goods element that upsets me. With Campos, too.

    • Preston says:

      To say either was damaged goods is to make a lot of assumptions that I’m not willing to make, it’s much more likely that they just got hurt because pitchers get hurt.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      LOL… Guy injures his elbow half a season later and he was damaged goods?

      • The Moral Majority is Neither says:

        Half a season later? He had an MRI on his elbow on April 28th and never pitched again. They got 25 innings out of him.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          25 IPs is probably a quarter of a season for a 19/20 year old SP. My point was not that it was literally a half season later. It was that it’s very unlikely there was any way the Yankees could have known either of those guys would get hurt. Outside of most SPs getting hurt at some point, which is ubiquitous.

          • JU says:

            If only there were some warning signs like his performance dropping off a cliff in the second half or his velocity dropping the year before. Or even if there were some others examples of how young pitchers without track records are the most volatile commodity in baseball. If only…

            • JAG says:

              So the lesson is never, ever trade for young pitchers, no matter how promising, because young pitchers without track records are volatile?

    • Havok9120 says:

      They weren’t damaged goods at the time of the trade unless we assume that the Yankees medical staff is incompetent and the Mariners medical staff was co-opted into lying by the front office. Not to mention all the independent specialists that would also need to fall into one of those two categories.

      There are a lot of reasons to be upset with the trade, at the time and in hindsight. “Damaged goods” isn’t one of them unless you’re in the business of flinging around assumptions and accusations as facts.

      • The Moral Majority is Neither says:

        Lucklily I am in the business of flinging around assumptions and accusations as facts.

        And business is good!

      • Preston says:

        Exactly, the M’s would have had to have an injury to one of their best MLB players and one of their top prospects and without the players being aware of the injuries themselves (seems unlikely) and their response to those injuries had to be “It’s not important to fix it, we’ll just trade them and hope the other teams doctors can’t catch what we caught” that’s ludicrous.

  3. I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

    I agree that most of the one year starters have been pretty awful around the league. However from a pure stats standpoint the numbers say quite clearly there are more of them than any other single position. So if you are talking about bodies on the roster, it’s easier to find SP than any other position, when talking one year deals.

  4. Lefftee says:

    I think Cashman is a terrible GM that had an open checkbook and should have won more WS them he did. Look at the trades and FA signings of Vasquez twice, Kevin Brown, Pedro Feliciano, Jarred Wright, Jeff Weaver, Carl Pavano to name a few. Not only did he trade his best prospect he got two damaged goods players in return. If the boss were still alive we wouldn’t have Cashman running the ship and the two little Stein’s wouldn’t be bean counting.

    • josh0909 says:

      Well for one, Montero is awful. Just look at his stats and the fact he can’t catch full time and you will see the Yankees and most prospect experts overrated him. Secondly, a GM that makes the play offs every year is a terrible GM? People that make these statements obviously haven’t looked at teams like the Astros or Royals who have been dreadful for a half a decade. That Pineda trade was a steal any way you look at it at the time. You’re getting a young strike out machine, while giving up a unproven hitter that can’t catch.

      • I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

        Montero’s Away stats say hello.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          His away .768 OPS? Or his .609 OPS against RHP?
          Look, we don’t have to put Montero down because Pineda got hurt. If they had BOTH turned into what was expected, we would have gotten a fine deal.

          • josh0909 says:

            So, you’re saying he’s a platoon bat that can’t catch and doesn’t hit enough to be DH. I’m sorry Montero’s numbers show that he was never a top 5 caliber prospect.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        A strike out machine that got hurt and popped for a DUI

    • jjyank says:

      It’s funny that you throw out a few trades/signings spread out over almost a decade to prove he’s a terrible GM. We can play that game with any GM that’s been at the helm as long (or almost as long) as Cashman has. There were plenty of good moves, too.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Yep, if you just look at the deals that didn’t work out and completely ignore the deals that did work out, Cashman is a horrendous GM.

  5. MP says:

    We still continue to debate about this trade. Yes, it didn’t turn out well for the Yanks, but I agree with the general sentiment, that at the time, it was a steal of a deal. Not a single person in baseball could argue with the deal. It was by all accounts another brilliant and off the radar type of Cashman move. I continue to have great confidence in Cashman and how he builds these teams. I still blame Seattle more than the Yankees in fact. Seattle’s management and development groups are horrible. They fired several people within their organization. Outside of Felix, they haven’t produced a single decent pitcher in nearly a decade. Even the Yanks can say they’ve had better results than the M’s in this department and that’s not really saying much.

    Pineda should still have three solid years of control going into 2014. Best case scenario is that he takes the mound sometime in June or after the all-star break. They’ll probably throw him out there for a series of 5-6 (70-80 pitch) inning starts. If they can rehab him successfully and if he can regain the stuff anything like he was in Seattle, we should be able to look forward to 2014, which is really when it matters most for the Yanks. Certainly not able to pencil him in for a #2 spot in 2014, but a solid back of the rotation guy that can work his way forward. This is where things get tricky. Pineda will not be a #2 anytime soon. Both Pettitte and Kuroda maybe factors for 13, but definitely not 14, so even with Pineda back, they still need a #2. Do the Yanks do a patch work rotation for the next two years and wait for Felix to become a free agent? Someone else? Or do they pass on Kuroda this season and sign Annibel Sanchez for 4 or 5 years? Is he even a #2? I’m not sure.

    I said it before, but it seems like he is close to his mother and family. They were pretty excited about the Yankee thing when he was traded. I hope with a solid physical rehab with the Yank organization (one of the best for this) along with some mental support from his family, he’ll get fired up and work hard to return when he starts rehabbing soon. It would be a good thing for him to feel he wants to prove something.

    As for Montero, it’s not like he tore the cover off the ball in Seattle either. In fact he was pretty much irrelevant, offensively, for much of the season. Obviously it was his rookie year, but he didn’t garner any ROY votes (not that I can find), certainly nothing like what we all forecasted for years on here. His numbers were pretty pedestrian in comparison to the league. He still had no position on the Yanks. In theory, he still doesn’t have a real position in Seattle. I can’t really understand to some extent why some people feel the Yanks “lost” this trade. It was a wash for both teams in 12. 13 will be the real test. If we all want to rate this trade as winner and loser, I think after 2013 makes more sense at this point, but as of now, no one lost in my opinion.

    Fault Seattle and their joke of a baseball organization, but definitely not Cashman for this Pineda debacle.

    • Preston says:

      Pineda could obviously bounce back and be exactly what we wanted him to be a top-end cost controlled piece of the rotation for the 2014 budget. I’m crossing my fingers and my toes, but his body and his work ethic will be the only things that determine whether or not that can happen. We will know more after 2013, but I still don’t think that we will be able to judge the trade after that. Both these players are too young and under team control for too long to know which team is the winner until four or five years down the road.
      As for Montero, I definitely think it’s interesting that the critics of this trade ignore the fact that he did poorly this year. He is not a Catcher, he would have been the DH, occasional C, and maybe play some 1b. He was not an ideal fit for what the Yankees want to do. I’m not a fan of the rotating DH, I think it’s punting a position. But I understand that the current roster probably needs the depth on the bench more than an extra bat who can’t play the field. As for his bat, I still believe in it, I think Montero’s offensive struggles were probably caused by a lot of things. Obviously the park is not terribly conducive to hitters. They had him catch 56 games and he really struggled, that had to carry over to the offesnive side of the ball. He was asked to be a middle of the order bat and carry the offesne, that’s a lot to put on a 22 yo kid. I think he would have been much better if he was hitting in YS, as the DH, batting 7th, but obviously we’ll never know.

      • MP says:

        Agreed with everything, especially the fact that it is still WAY WAYYY too early to rate this trade as a winner/loser type of deal. Regardless of what the Sherman’s and Heymans of the world say. I said after 2013 would be a better time to start looking at the trade, but I agree, even 2-3 years from now probably makes more sense.

    • jjyank says:

      I agree with a lot of this. I personally don’t blame anyone though. When we’re angry about the results of something, it’s natural to want to point the finger somewhere, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. Besides, this is baseball. Someone once told me that it was something you couldn’t predict. Pineda got hurt, and that blows, but shit happens. Pitchers get hurt.

      I do think Pineda can be a solid contributor going forward. I’m not counting on it, and I doubt he will be of too much help in 2013, but I do think he can be a solid rotation member after that. The book on this trade is still far from being written.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      A wash for 2012???? One guy is on the DL with a shoulder injury so how is it a wash

  6. Phil says:

    I would to know what other pitchers have had the same surgery as Pineda had? and how did they fare after the surgery?

    Also what are the chances of him being at least a number 3 pitcher in the rotation in 2014?

    • Preston says:

      Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Anibal Sanchez, of course this is cherry picking, because I don’t remember the guys who never came back. There is a good chance that he can come back exactly the pitcher he was before, there is also a good chance that he will be permanently damaged by this, and their is a non-zero chance that he will never pitch again.

      • jjyank says:

        Yeah. The one sliver of hope I am clinging to regarding his recovery is that he had it so young. Hopefully that bodes well for him.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Schilling’s injury was worse than Pineda’s. The best comps are Clemens, Sanchez and Jose Valverde.

  7. Hoss says:

    Does anyone remember when Cashman and the Yankees front office swore off dealing with the Mariners after they backed out of the Cliff Lee deal in mid-season 2010? I seem to recall something about integrity, dealing fairly, etc.? So what happened? All of the sudden, Cashman thought that he was going to pull a fast one on Jack Z. and steal a couple of quality young pitchers? Wrong.

    Even if the Mariners didn’t know about the injury (which I believe they didn’t) they did know about Pineda’s makeup, work ethic and potential. Cashman made a deal with his self-identified devil and paid the price.

    Doesn’t surprise me. After signing Pedro Feliciano and realizing that he had serious arm troubles that would sideline him for a significant period of time, Cashman declares that the injury is due to the Mets’ abuse of Feliciano over the previous years. Well, Cashman, why the hell did you sign him then? Look at the back of his baseball card and figure out how much he has been abused and take a pass…

    At some point, people around here will stop apologizing for a bad GM whose only saving grace is the Yankees’ pocketbook.

    • MP says:

      Brian Cashman has proven that one of his strongest areas of expertise is with trades. I have no idea what you’re talking about. We could go back and forth all day about his deals, but Swisher is just one of many that were brilliant. $80-$90mm worth of production (through his prime years nonetheless) for less than half the actual cost and all it required was a few shitty players in exchange. And at time when more than a dozen other teams are going the “pocketbook” route, the argument could still be made that the Yanks have realized far greater results than others with free agency. How about the Phillies? Howard and crowd and all they produced was a .500 record this year. The Red Sox had a horrific season and dysfunction through-out and they had the 2nd highest payroll in baseball to start last season. The Tigers came close, but they won the fewest regular season games of any contender (the argument of getting hot at the right time), but the overall results weren’t stellar. The Angels didn’t even made the post-season. So who allocated free agent dollars better and got better results of these teams? The Yanks.

      • Hoss says:

        Other than the Swisher trade, name one solid trade he’s made. Granderson? Please…
        Free agent signings? For every good one, there are plenty of bad ones that teams who cannot afford to dish out $200 million a year just don’t have the luxury of making.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          ARod?
          Justice?
          Abreu?

          Just to name a few.
          He, like every GM, has some deals that worked out great, some deals that worked out OK, and some deals that were disasters.

          • jjyank says:

            Plus several lower profile moves, too. Kerry Wood comes to mind, for example.

          • Hoss says:

            Recall that Cano was offered to Texas as the player to go with Soriano for A-Rod, but the Rangers chose Joaquin Arias instead.
            Agree that every GM makes mistakes, but not every GM can just ignore wasting $8M for a middle reliever on a bad bet on Feliciano’s health, $6.5M on Nick Johnson’s health for a DH, tens of millions on headcase A.J. Burnett, etc… all within a period of a few years, and survive to tell about it.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

              GM’s of team’s that still have one of the best teams in the league and still make the playoffs every year despite having some moves not pay off do survive to tell about it. Obviously the luxury of a large payroll helps offset the bad moves. Also finding some relatively low cost, relatively high reward gems helps as well.

              • Hoss says:

                Look at the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays. Most of their starters – not role players – are low cost, high reward.

                • MP says:

                  Scott and Pena really weren’t that good this year and they cost about $14m combined, so..

                • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                  Yes. And most are young and pre-free agent. Benefits of not having to win every year and being able to patiently endure losing seasons to build from within.

                  The Rays also just paid $7.25M for a 1B with a sub-700 OPS and $6M for a DH to hit 229/285/439. For a team with a very low payroll, those outcomes are a lot more damaging than Cash taking an $8M risk on a Loogy or $6M risk on an injury prone DH.

                  I’m not saying Cash is a great GM. I think he’s about average.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    I think he’s solidly above average. There aren’t that many good GMs out there.

                    • Preston says:

                      Yeah, people need to look at results over a longer period of time. Look at what the Mets and Cubs did with all the money they spent in the mid aughts, the Phillies had a great roster and then spent their way out of contention, the Red Sox are in shambles (and Theo is a really good GM). Cashman could go all in for any season or group of seasons, but as we’ve seen there are no guarantees in the playoffs, so you could just be mortgaging your future for nothing. We have to balance being a 90+ win team every year, with being able to sustain it, and we have for a very long time. I guess some people would rather we go all in and compete now, others would rather blow it up and rebuild, but the Yankees would rather do the more difficult task of grinding out off-seasons to build a competitive team every year.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Strong comment, Preston. Well said.

                • OldYanksFan says:

                  This is kinbda dumb to say. Those 2 teams had to be the worst in baseball for a decade in order to get the draft picks they did.

                  The entire design of Baseball operations is to try and NOT get teams like the Yankees. They don’t want dynasties, they want parity.

                  I’m sure if the Yankees finish LAST for 10 years, they will end up with a better farm. Is that the way YOU want to go?

            • Get Phelps Up says:

              And you’re going to ignore all the good moves he made during that time such as Kuroda, Chavez, Ibanez, Jones (2011), Garcia (2011), Colon, Pettitte, Ichiro, Berkman, Wood, getting rid of Burnett, etc.

            • MP says:

              Stop. See below on my “reliever” counter argument.

              As for Nick Johnson, ok, in theory it was supposed to work and it didn’t. It was a 1 year deal and $6.5m is not a lot of money for the Yanks. Luke Scott was a failure for the Rays and he was paid a similar amount just this past season. So it’s ok for you to lambast Cashman over Johnson and $6.5m, but not two seasons of Andrew Jones and Eric Chavez + one season of Ibanez and .5 of Ichiro, for the grand total of about $9m-$10m total? Little short sighted on your end if I may say. A.J Burnett? Despite the maddening results on the mound, on paper, he wasn’t THAT terrible. I’ll still defend him 20 years from now. I liked AJ. He helped them win a WS in 09. He was durable and healthy and at a minimum, gave them two additional years of a lot innings. A.J in total, will have cost the Yanks about $65m. That’s not that bad. The cost of Dice-K was nearly 40% more and he was the most irritating pitcher to watch and his results were pathetic.

            • I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

              2009 WS ring says hello.

          • MP says:

            Agreed. There really haven’t been that many disasters the way I see it. In fact, I think the worst trade that Cashman has made in recent years (in a long while, actually), was the deal with the Braves for Vaquez a few years back. He gave up a few solid pieces including Vizciano (who, I think just had TJ also?). But in terms of cost/production, that was probably one of the worst deals that I can say Cashman messed up. It happens. Using Feliciano as an example of failures under Cashman is dumb. He cost a total of $8.5m, spread out over a couple years. It happens. How about Madson and the Reds? $8.5m for one season and the guy didn’t even make it through ST last year. At the time, following Papelbon signing that absurdly stupid contract, getting Madson for 1 year and $8.5m was perhaps, at the time, the most brilliant move of any GM last off season. We don’t hear any whining and crying from those fans about it.

            If Hoss or others really want to make a case that Cashman is a bad GM, then I need to hear a little more than Feliciano and co. And I don’t want to hear Arod for the 1000th time. That was in a way, a parting gift from Steinbrenner senior and Hank. In hindsight, dumb, but in a way the last remaining example of the George Steinbrenner era. Cashman had nothing to do with that deal. And for the record, I still don’t have a problem with it. I’m not paying the contract and as my girlfriend knows, Arod is still one of my favorite players and people. Maybe I just get the guy, which really isn’t easy to do.

            • Preston says:

              The Vazquez trade wasn’t bad at all. We gave up fat Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunne and Vizciano. Cabrera got DFA’d, Logan has been much better than Dunne, and Vizciano was a pitching prospect who hadn’t played above A ball and has undergone TJ surgery. So it’s really a wash of productivity.

              • MP says:

                No doubt and that’s the argument I am making; that the Vasquez trade was probably the worst that Cashman has made in a long time and it really wasn’t all that terrible. The intentions are Cashman with that deal where genuine and it was to address a specific need on the team.

            • Steve says:

              The dumb part was that he said “The Mets really ran him into the ground” or something like that and then the guy pitched 0 times. It was acknowledging that his arm had been abused and signing him anyway.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          LOL… The Swisher trade is one of the most lopsided in recent history. That is not a “solid” trade that a GM should be judged against. That is a ridiculously rare steal.

    • MP says:

      …and a bad GM doesn’t net the most supplementary draft picks under the system. The Yankees, the winningest team in the AL this season and they’ll have more draft options than the worst team. Sure, they won’t draft as high, but 3 potential picks btw the 1st and 2nd round is nothing to laugh at. Cashman played his cards well in this case. The way I understand it, based on the slotting, the Yanks will have as many as 4 picks within the first 39 players to go in the draft. That’s not too bad, if my math is correct.

  8. Duh Innings says:

    Who but an idiot is giving old-ass Torii Hunter a two-year deal? I say offer Hunter a year and $10.25M or what Swisher made in 2012 and if he rejects it, good luck to him getting a World Series ring with who, Texas without Josh Hamilton? The Angels aren’t re-signing him for two years, the Tigers and Orioles don’t need him, and the As couldn’t afford him, so he’s just about out of World Series contending AL teams to sign for two years with. Spare me “Chicago”, that team isn’t World Series contending and won’t be when they buy out Peavy. No NL team is giving him two years. $10.25M for 2013 is more than fair.

    LOL @ the Red Sox signing old-ass David Ross for two years at $3.1M a year, desperate fucks.

    Joakim Soria, Jake Peavy when the Chi-Sox buy him out, and Hunter that’s it. If no Hunter, bring back Ichiro and Ibanez (bring back Ibanez anyway.)

  9. David says:

    I don’t recall the front office ever ‘swearing off’ trading with Seattle. In retrospect, I think the Mariner’s doctors got it right when they rejected Adams because of the ankle injury

    • Preston says:

      Yeah, at the time everybody seemed to think it was all a trick to use the Yankees as a bargaining tool, because the Mariner’s knew Adams had a sprained ankle. Obviously the physical showed he had a fractured ankle and he probably still isn’t fully recovered.

  10. Robinson Tilapia (IS Nate Silver) says:

    Yay, another Pineda/Montero comment section.

    For the purposes of those keeping score, I didn’t like the trade. My thought process was the one Mike has stated a few times. They had one chance to fire the Montero bullet. I was underwhelmed by it being fired on Pineda then, and things have, yes, gotten worse.

    I’ve long gotten over it.

  11. The Moral Majority is Neither says:

    Pineda was the only rookie in MLB history to have a K/9 rate above 9 with a BB/9 rate below 3.

    The Yankees won the trade at the time. We’ll see what the future holds.

  12. Ted Nelson says:

    My issue with the deal was that Ps are far more volatile and more likely to get injured than hitters. That’s not to say that Pineda was bound to get hurt and especially not that quickly, but it’s not that much of a surprise that a P got seriously hurt.

  13. Isaac says:

    I’m not sure how to submit a question, but I saw that Arencibia is available, from Toronto. Living in Canada, I’ve seen a whole bunch of what Arencibia has to offer, and his Power could play well in Yankee Stadium. What do you think of a Romine/Arencibia platoon to replace Martin? They both would be cheap and could put up big numbers.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s interesting to consider depending on the cost, but I don’t think they’d put up big numbers. I think they’d probably under-produce Martin, though you’re right that at least it would be on the cheap $ wise.

  14. Wayne says:

    I think Seattle knew this guy would get hurt eventually because of his mechanics which are awful obviously.

  15. Joe Kotulak says:

    If Montero becomes a 300 or very very close to a 300 hitter (regardless of his power) to it which I eventually expect, I will forever consider the trade a failure even if Pineda turns into the next Roger Clemens. I’m sorry, you don’t find many guys who have opposite field hitting on the free agent market, and even when you do they are over age 30. That means you are going to get fewer years where a hitter can maintain that opposite field approach compared to cost effective guys who you develop and can have many more seasons over a career where it’s realistic expectation that an opposite field approach will not diminish. If you don’t have enough young opposite field hitting on your team, then no way will a team win the world series no matter how many homeruns a team hits for the regular season. Your best chance to beat good pitching is through the farm system, because your not going to have success against good pitching if you don’t have more hitters whose strength is to go the other way, it’s just not going happen. Game is played differently today to where an opposite field hitting approach has become even more important to have now since the homerun is down compared to when hitting 40 homeruns in a season was routine in the 90s and 2000s.

    I mean the Yankees didn’t need a pitcher with the kind of stuff Pineda has to win world series back in 90s. Their best pitcher was David Cone in 1998 and even he didn’t have Pineda or Randy Johnson type stuff. The Braves had 3 starting pitchers in the late 90s and early 2000s that will be hall of famers. Despite having 3 pitchers who most years pitched to under a 3 ERA had only 1 world series title to show for it. You need good pitching to win a world series, but the biggest misconception people and the Yankees front office has is that you need an ace. No what you need is a pitcher who can pitch to an under 4 ERA to go along with more Bernie Williams type hitters. Something the Yankees have a few but they need to develop more. Teams will continue to dare the Yankees hitters to beat them going to the opposite field, and until they do I see them ever having success against pitchers who throw 1st pitch strikes.

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