One year ago, the New York Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero for a guy named Michael Pineda.
At the time, the trade made perfect sense. After all, how could any team pass up on a 22-year-old, 6-foot-7 left-hander who had 173 strikeouts in 171 innings during his rookie season? The guy had (and still has) huge upside. I for one was very excited to see him pitch.
And then he began to have arm trouble. News spread that he wouldn’t pitch for the remainder of the season. Then this year, Pineda became the latest name on the Yankees’ list of injured players. It’s disappointing for such a talented young pitcher to miss so much time already, and I’m beginning to wonder if New York will play him at all this year.
Pineda’s been making starts with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, but he seems no closer to a return. It seems to me that they’re implementing a system similar to the infamous “Joba Rules,” limiting Pineda’s innings because he’s a young fireballer.
I wonder if this is a good idea, however, especially considering their current standing in the AL East and the effect (or lack thereof, as he blew out his elbow anyway) the Joba Rules had on Joba Chamberlain.
Should the Yankees have Pineda pitch this year? It’s a tough call. I think that they need him if they want to make the playoffs, and I think limiting his innings is a mistake. However, New York’s management might have other ideas.