Pineda resumes throwing on flat ground

Yanks need Kuroda to rebound against Blue Jays
The under-the-radar Curtis Granderson

Via Bryan Hoch: Michael Pineda and his stiff shoulder have resumed throwing on flat ground. This report is actually ten days old — I flat whiffed and missed it — so there’s a chance Pineda has already progressed to throwing in the bullpen. “I think if everything is as we hope it to be, then he will have a chance to do that,” said Brian Cashman when asked if the right-hander could help in September.

Pineda, 24, landed on the Triple-A Scranton DL after leaving his August 2nd start with stiffness. Tests showed no structural damage. The minor league regular season ends on Tuesday, so unless they send him to Double-A Trenton for their playoff run, he’ll only be able to make one minor league tune-up start. Of course, the longer they take with his rehab the more money they’ll save in the future. Pineda had a 3.86 ERA and 3.11 FIP in 23.1 innings across six starts for the RailRiders before going on the DL.

Yanks need Kuroda to rebound against Blue Jays
The under-the-radar Curtis Granderson
  • Jim James

    This is an interesting situation, do you look at it as a guy that you need to proceed with extreme caution as a young arm or do you treat him like a guy with a full season of MLB experience (I consider 28 starts to be such) under his belt & say his minor league numbers/results are irrelevant unless they’re particularly alarming?

    • Ed

      Like anyway else, you ignore the results and pay more attention to the process. Look at what happened with Wang this year. He dominated AAA but was horrible in the majors. His stuff just wasn’t good enough to get out major league hitters with his current velocity.

      As for Pineda, stamina seemed to be the holdup. He was tiring after 4-5 innings. They’re not going to call him up unless he can give more innings.

      • Mac

        You don’t have to ignore the results to analyze the process. In fact, the two are very hard to separate in practice. It’s a matter of analyzing the whole picture.

        I don’t know if his stamina in 2013 is going to be indicative of his progression in 2014 given that he’s recovering from a major shoulder surgery. Some part of it might have been innings management as well as stamina.

  • Kenny

    Hard to believe the Ys can count very much on him being effective in the Bigs, after so many months away from live fire.

    • matt b

      Here’s the thing, you simply can’t jerk the kid and use him out of the pen. If he’s healthy enough to be up, he’s gotta start -and unlike the moronic handling of Joba, when the Yanks decided it was smart to announce in advance his 60 pitch limit so that Toronto could simply sit and take, with Pineda, if there’s a pitch limit, have it internally, and you basically send him out and let him go till he’s done.

      Only scenario I see this happening is his taking over Hughes’s starts (with off days, you can manipulate the sched so Phil only has to start 4 more games) – best case, see if Pineda can be competitve with the big club right now, maybe you get 4-5 innings out of him – I’ve got no problem using Phil in relief, and with expanded rosters, you can live with that from the fifth starter.

      My own guess is that they won’t throw him into the fire of a pennant race, and that you’ll only see him make a start or two if the Yanks are out. You ask me, first, don’t even think about rushing the kid. So help me if I see him warming in the pen. But Hughes has been so bad that if Pineda is physically ready, i’d be more than open to Pineda taking a couple of those starts.

      But knowing this org – and more importantly, it’s history – as much as I think it’s extremely important to see Pineda in the bigs even for a few innings this year (the old Bill Parcells, “I need to see the player on the field” – same has been true re: Jeter playing SS) in terms of planning next season, I’d be shocked to see him, period, esp. if they’re contending.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’ll give you ten thousand internet dollars if Michael Pineda replaces Phil Hughes in the rotation this season.

  • trr

    I think it’s safe to say we won’t see him ’til 2014

    • Captain Turbo

      Too bad. I’d like to see the big guy on the mound but I guess I can wait until next year.

  • JLC 776

    Being that I’m not a MLB pitcher, I’ll never truly know if throwing a starter in the ‘pen is detrimental to his growth or not (see: Joba Chamberlain, 2007-2010), but let’s assume it might be.

    I don’t think he’d positively impact things enough to make a difference as a late-season bullpen mop-up guy (let’s face it, he wouldn’t be seeing high-leverage situations) and there’s potential risk to his growth if he starts being used for short, infrequent outings.

    Personally, I’d only bring him up to the bigs this year if our playoff picture looks very bleak and we plan on using him as a 6th starter.

    • Mac

      I wouldn’t assume it is. There are dozens and dozens of examples of successful starters who moved back and forth between RP and SP. Some HOFers. Ps fail to develop and get hurt whether they’re in the pen or rotation.

      A guy like Joba has had ample opportunity to get his career back on track and has never taken advantage. I can’t see assuming he would have taken any more advantage of a rotation spot.

      • Mac

        Basically, you have decided to look at a sample of 1 rather than a readily available sample that is much, much larger and more significant.

      • Captain Turbo

        Joba’s problems seem to stem more from bad attitude and lack of work ethic. Maybe on his next team something will click and he’ll start putting in the effort to succeed. He still has the tools to make it happen.

      • JLC 776

        I’m not so much questioning whether or not the temporary switch is possible, but more questioning the potential upside.

        I personally believe his continued growth (i.e., more innings) in the minors are more valuable to him and the club as a whole than a few spot appearances from the bullpen in the majors.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I mean……teams, including the New York Yankees, have been starting pitchers in the bullpen when they reach the majors for eons. It used to be pretty standard practice before the age of ultra-specialization.

          Joba Chamberlain as arbitrary cut-off point happens because it’s useful in establishing an argument no one can actually prove and which requires massive ignoring of several rather important other factors to even buy. It’s sports talk radio fodder. That’s it.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          But, to actually get to what you were saying……yes, I think the upside is certainly there if what you’re looking to do is give a young pitcher a taste of the big leagues and you either don’t have a rotation spot for them or are concerned as to innings.

          None of this used to matter, of course, and you proved whether you were worthy of a starting spot by pitching well out of the bullpen.

        • Mac

          Not sure that’s really the trade off they’re facing. I don’t have an opinion either way because I know very little about his injury and recovery, but the minor league season is effectively over. Maybe he can get one regular season start in before the 1st or whenever, and then maybe a start or two in the playoffs depending on how things go for the team. If you want him pitching in games in the immediate future (and I don’t know if they do) it likely has to be in MLB.

    • RetroRob

      Evidence throughtout the history of MLB suggests just the opposite, and that putting a young pitcher in the pen is a good thing.

      Joba was not hurt by being in the pen. He was hurt by a fluke injury and the fact that Joba is Joba.

  • MannyGeee

    I hate the comparison to Joba for Pineda, almost as much as i hate the “Yankeez roooooooooooooooooooooon’d the Joba!” outcries we always seem to run into around these parts.

    Lest we forget, Joba fell into the Yankees lap solely due to his questionable health. Regardless of Joba Rules, I would say there is any real actual proof that Joba would be Cy Young right now if the team would have done things differently.

    As far as Pineda goes, I would actually rather see him go to Trenton over coming up and potentially getting reinjured. UNLESS he’s super duper ready. In which case, show me what chu got, hammer!

    • JLC 776

      Even Cashman (who, despite his tendency to fail at everything he does [/s], is still a valid voice) has come out and pretty much stated that Joba’s injury in 2008 was his undoing and not any moves between bullpen to rotation and back.

    • Mac

      Pineda can potentially reinjure himself pitching in Trenton as well.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    At this point, we’ve waited this long that we might as well wait until nothing else can possibly go wrong…..which is why I’ve instructed Cashman to fit Pineda in a glass box forever.