Saturday, March 8, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:15 AM
Last night, after pitching a solid two innings, Michael Pineda said he "showed Michael Pineda." A little weird, maybe. We've never heard Jeter or A-Rod go there, and they are practically multinational corporations. Still, no complaints.
In fact, if he wants, Michael Pineda can call himself "Minnie Pearl." No problemo. All he needs to do is win, say,15 games. He doesn't need to take the Cy Young Award. He doesn't need to start the All-Star game. Just throw 140 innings, win 15, and be a fourth starter. If he can do that... Michael can refer to himself like that fat gangster, "Reemus," in Boardwalk Empire, and Brian Cashman can call himself "Whitey Herzog."
There is a running gag in the Yankiverse. It's called comparing Pineda and Jesus Montero. By now, it's been done so often that it's like a catchphrase in a bad TV sitcom. But here goes anyway:
Thus far, this spring, in the Seattle side of the Michael Pineda universe, Jesus is 5 for 16 with two doubles and two RBIs. He's playing firstbase and hitting .313. Much has been written about Montero coming to camp 40 pounds overweight - which is impressive, from a consumption standpoint - but if Jesus hits .313 this year, the Mariners will supply all the loaves and fishes he wants. As long as he's not eating small children, nobody will complain.
(For the hell of it: Hector Noesi, the other failure in the Pineda trade, has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings this spring. For now, maybe that stat puts Pineda's outing in the best perspective.)
It's been a long, depressing haul, dealing with Pineda and his injury, he DUI, his slow comeback, and now the beginnings of - well - the End. Yes, for better or worse, his Yankee plot arc is coming to a conclusion. If he pitches well, all will be forgiven. Injuries are injuries. But if he cannot hold down a slot in the rotation, Scranton will be an unforgiving place for Micheal Pineda. Because at that point, he will hear a lot of Third Person perspectives, as in, "We sure as hell don't need another Micheal Pineda." Let's hope it doesn't come to that. We need a third starter, not a third person.