Monday, March 3, 2014

As ace of Yankee Sim Rotation, Pineda could win the Great Clunker Swap of 2012

Michael Pineda threw two solid sim innings yesterday against the 1927 Yankees, making Ruth and Gehrig look like ghosts of their former selves, while somewhere in Arizona, a secret operative of Brian Cashman was slipping Jesus Montero another malt shake and double-cheese pizza. Thus, after two years of play, the Yankees now lead Seattle in the Great Clunker Swap by a score of Zero to Negative 1. We’ve pulled ahead.

A piece in today’s NYT confirms what the Yankiverse has been gargling for weeks: That Montero may be one of the great, pajama-pissing, slobbering, fall-down leviathans in MLB history, a 5-tool disappointment. In only two years of rancidness, Jesus has: 1) Failed to hit, 2) Failed to be a catcher, 3) Proven to be injury prone, 4) Been suspended for juicing, and 5) Eaten his way off the roster. Jesus has been eating in the manner that CC Sabathia has been dieting, and it now looks as though the Great Swap, in which the Yankees and Mariners traded their lawn chairs in Hell, now is tilting toward New York, by default. 
Montero came to camp 40 pounds overweight, which is a throwback to the 1950s, when guys bagged groceries in the off-season, instead of hiring trainers. Meanwhile, Pineda came to camp at his assigned Yankee weight! Hoo-ray! That’s something he did not do two years ago, before blowing out his shoulder. But the big news of the day, if you’re scoring at home: Pineda has now pitched two Sim games in Florida.
That’s right. Sim games. “Sim,” as in “Simply Meaningless.” Or Simpathy. In other words, two years after his arm injury, the Yankees are still treating him like an ancient Chinese vase, pretending that he is the lost Koufax from Atlantis.  Good grief. What a joke.

Pineda was expected to return last August. In July, the Yankees breathlessly reported his pitching lines in Charleston and Tampa, as he rose up the system, preparing to take New York like Lady Gaga in her egg. Then in the lost mines of Scranton, he threw like Kim Novak. He suffered not only stiffness, but bombings. The Triple A hitters were not simulations.
So now, he’s back, and as long as he’s throwing against fantasy league all-stars, the Yankees have won the Great Trade, and Cashman looks like Syd Thrift, dealing with old George. And it’s part of the detritus that doubles as spring training coverage.

Listen: We all want Pineda to succeed. I will happily apologize for every snarky word ever written about the guy, if he becomes a real MLB pitcher, like the one he supposedly was in Seattle. If Pineda could be a Number One or Number Two starter, the Yankees could win the AL East this year. That’s the kind of splash he would make on this franchise.
But it seems to me that the longer the Yankees treat this guy like a china doll, the more likely he is to become one. There’s a point where we have to compare him to everybody else in baseball who is NOT Jesus Montero. I don’t care if Montero weighs 400 pounds and is accused of eating small children. If Pineda spends April in Scranton, he and Jesus ought to quit baseball and tour as a band. They could call themselves Ten Years After.

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