One of the buzziest stories from New York Yankees camp this spring was the diminished velocity of Michael Pineda. Accustomed to seeing the radar guns flashing readings in the high-90′s (or at least reading about them), New York Yankees fans became concerned when Michael Pineda was settling in the low-90′s. I definitely did not like that, but it was not something that I was going to worry about. After all, there are several reasons why a pitcher may not be throwing his purest gas in March – for one…it’s March, secondarily he may be tinkering with new offerings, he may not have his arm in regular season form, yada yada yada. Or maybe it’s because he’s not 100% That could have been be the case with Michael Pineda as the New York Yankees have placed him on the DL with “shoulder tendinitis”.
The good news here is that Pineda’s MRI did not reveal any labrum or rotator cuff damange. The bad news is that any shoulder ailment is a tricky situation. With that said, I think Yankees fans can tone down the panic. It’s easy to remember Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain while ignoring or disregarding the countless other cases where a pitcher returned from a similar ailment without an issue.
This is certainly not the start that we wanted Pineda to get off too – especially when he cost the Yanks Jesus Montero. Let’s all take a deep breath though. For now there is absolutely no reason for anybody to drown in overreaction. Pineda will simply be shut down for a couple of weeks – maybe three – and then he’ll probably make a few starts in Triple-A when it’s time for him to start playing again. It is far too early for anybody to start throwing out “worst trade of all-time” proclamations or declaring that the New York Yankees got conned by the Seattle Mariners. As much as some of us might like to think that Brian Cashman is an idiot of a GM, it simply isn’t true.
In the meantime, the New York Yankees and the fans can be thankful for Freddy Garcia and Andy Pettitte. Garcia will now slot into the starting five and Pettitte will be one step closer to rejoining the rotation once he’s ready. There will certainly be more discussion regarding Michael Pineda and his shoulder, but for now I just want to implore all of the panicking Yankees fans to relax and let this situation play out. If it becomes significantly more serious, I promise I’ll join you in an extended stretch of irrational ranting and raving, but for now, I’m keeping it cool.
For more updates and thoughts regarding Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees, follow me on Twitter @craigmwilliams.