Yankees: 8 players unable to live up to the hype
By Ryan Doyle
P Michael Pineda (2014-2017)
Now it’s Pineda’s turn.
An important note here. The Yankees traded their top prospect for Pineda, with hopes he would become a frontline starter as the team looked to capitalize on the final years of Jeter and company.
The expectations were high for the 6-foot-7-inch hurler. Coming off an impressive season at just 22, Pineda was the injection of youth a Yankees rotation led by C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda needed.
As he went through his first spring training in Tampa with the club, Pineda didn’t look like himself. He began the season on the injured list and was forced to undergo surgery on a torn labrum which forced him to miss both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Over two years after he was traded to the Yankees, he was finally able to make his debut. He pitched well in April with a trio of quality starts to kick off the season.
Then, Pineda was spotted with pine tar slathered on his neck in a start against the Red Sox. He was suspended and during a bullpen session preparing for his return to the mound, he suffered an injury.
The injury kept Pineda sidelined until August where he would return to form for the remainder of the season. By the end of 2014, he held a 1.89 ERA, in 76.1 innings. It looked like the Montero trade was finally going to pay off for the Yankees at least (By this time, Montero was widely considered a bust in Seattle).
The magic continued for Pineda into the 2015 campaign with a legendary performance on Mother’s Day, striking out a career-high 16 batters.
It all came to an abrupt end as Pineda took a step back into what he would be for the next three seasons. He would pitch to an ERA in the mid-4s and show just flashes of front-end potential.
General manager Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that if Pineda didn’t develop into a number one starter, the trade would have been a mistake. Well, looks like we know how Cashman feels about the move today.