The New York Yankees entered Spring Training without their top offensive prospect, but they were stocked with a deep and talented rotation. The trade that sent away fan favorite Jesus Montero created a split among New York Yankees fans, but even the ones like me that were in favor of keeping Jesus Montero had to at least recognize that adding the 6’7″ Michael Pineda to the rotation had some exciting potential. The excitement quickly waned early in March when Michael Pineda was struggling with his velocity. Personally, I wasn’t going to overreact about velocity at the beginning of March. Even when the New York Yankees shut him down prior to the start of the regular season, I wasn’t about to lose any sleep. The last news, however, has drastically changed my tone.
Diagnosed with an anterior labral tear of the right shoulder, Pineda will miss the rest of this season and the early portion of next season. According to Brian Cashman, a full recovery is expected to take a full calender year. I should have waited before writing this up because I am bound to say something stupid out of the anger, disappointment and frustration I’m feeling right now. I’ll try not to make myself look like a complete idiot, but you’ll have to excuse me if I do.
I was not a fan of the trade when it happened, but I want to be fair here. I had my heart set on Jesus Montero developing as the New York Yankees’ next big bat – gradually taking hold of the reigns from Robinson Cano over the next 4-5 years. Objectively, however, I did recognized the value that Pineda could provide the Yanks so I can’t sit here and call for Brian Cashman to be fired or anything that radical. I will say that I’m getting a little frustrated with this team’s conservative approach in certain areas that could potentially negate such blockbuster trades as the one they pulled off in January.
Would the New York Yankees have been better off spending the money on Yu Darvish? Ridiculously unfair question at this point and despite his gem against the Bombers last night, we don’t really know what to expect from him. Even before Darvish signed though, I wanted the Yanks to roll the dice on him to avoid having to trade Montero to fill their pitching needs. They bid some ridiculously low figure – $15 million maybe, I can’t remember exactly – so they didn’t come anywhere close. Combine this with the conservative approach they’ve taken in the draft the past couple of seasons and the frustration starts to build. Note: While it is very easy to sit here today and wish that Taijuan Walker or Nick Castellanos was in the organization instead of Cito Culver, I have to say that this is the frustration coming out. And to be fair, signing Darvish did not guarantee that the Yanks would not have traded Montero.
This is the worst case scenario for the New York Yankees and Michael Pineda. I have no idea how close to his old form he’ll be able to return to upon recovery, but personally, I’m not going to get my hopes up for anything. Life will go on and the New York Yankees will continue to contend in the American League, but this is the type of disappointment that makes me want to forget about following real teams for a while and just focus on fantasy baseball where I get to call my own shots.