Fellow New York Yankees fans, I write this with the hope that I catch some of you before you throw yourselves off the cliff. Today’s news that Michael Pineda will be lost for the year with a tear in his labrum certainly comes as a painful shock to those of us looking forward to seeing what kind of impact he would have as part of our rotation. As I wrote this morning, even though Pineda will undergo surgery he will not be lost to us forever. He is young (23) and strong, and it will be another four to five years before he is even considered to be in his prime. There is plenty of time for recovery and development, and I truly believe he will be a valuable part of the New York Yankees future.
In the meantime, there is a silver lining to the current situation. First, the southpaw the heavens delivered to the New York Yankees some 17 years ago will be returning soon. Andy Pettitte is slated to rejoin our club sometime in May, and if we can just bear through a few more Freddy Garcia starts, our rotation will get better. It HAS to get better doesn’t it? Pettitte’s presence alone will help put a band-aid on the wounds Garcia and Phil Hughes have inflicted upon us, right?
If that isn’t enough, there is one more piece to the bright spot in this mess known as “The Pineda (or)Deal”. Down in Charleston we have a little known addition to the trade that gave us our wounded duckling. A 19 year-old right hander by the name of Jose Campos is currently showing real promise for the Charleston Riverdogs – the New York Yankees single A club. In 22 innings he has a 1.23 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. He has struck out 23, walked only 5 batters, and has shown that he could have three above average pitches (fastball with life and movement, curveball, and changeup). Perhaps with a little more seasoning at that level, we may see Campos on a fast track through the minors. It may be something to keep an eye on.
For now, let’s not use our torches and pitchforks on the New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman – at least, not for this deal. If you must protest against something he’s done, look no farther than his continued signings of players well past the prime of their careers. While “catching lightning in a bottle” can no longer apply to Michael Pineda, it might for Jose Campos - only time will tell us what we have there. It certainly will not apply to Freddy Garcia or Hiroki Kuroda, and our archangel Andy Pettitte is really only a stop-gap measure.
Stop yourselves from following the lemmings that have already gone before you and take a deep breath. We’re gonna be ok. You just have to believe.