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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Yet another chapter unfolds in the mystery of Pineda

So yesterday, as he walked out for the 7th, every crank believer and hard-line cynic across the Yankiverse had to be pondering the same unponderable thought: 

What if stink bomb Pineda actually throws a perfect game?

This wouldn't just be transformative. It would be apocalyptic. An opening day like no other in Yankee history... a game to enter the pantheon of great memories... to justify Pineda's last five crapola years... to end forever the nasty comparisons to Jesus Montero... and to - gulp - cement his future in New York?

Nah. No way. That didn't happen, thanks to the wise juju of Yankee fan Martha Stewart, winner of the first IT IS HIGH IBS Lady Fan of the Week Award for Explosive Guidance Under Pressure. Watching from somewhere, probably over a rising souffle, Martha coldly studied the long term implications of an Opening Day perfecto by Pineda, and exercised her celebrity juju veto. She tweeted about the perfect game, unleashing the kind of hell storm juju that only a former talk show hostess can generate. In doing so, she may have saved the Yankees from a 5 to 10-year deal, which would involve more money than she paid in legal fees for a monogrammed electronic ankle bracelet. No perfect game. No moment for the ages. No long term commitment. Thank you, Martha Stewart. May the IBS Lady always ride with you.

Today, the dirty little whispers across the Yankiverse sound like this: Pssst, Cashman. Trade'm. Trade'm now, today, tonight, tomorrow, before the next outing. Get what we can, trade'm, call it a victory, and that's Chinatown, Jake. Trade'm, trade'm, trade'm... 

Because here are some realities about our mysterious third starter.

1. We'll almost certainly lose him next winter. He'll be a free agent, and no matter what he does this year, there are simply too many IBS moments in his past for Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner to pony up cash to keep this guy. If Pineda pitches well, he'll want a five or seven year deal, and Cashman won't even pick up the phone. Too much water under the Tappan Zee. He's Ivan Nova Jr., and if there is one certainty about 2017, it is almost surely that this is Pineda's final year as a Yankee. 

2. He probably won't make it to winter - departing at the July 31 trade deadline. In an appealing long term scenario, Pineda would fetch a boatload of young talent that can buttress the Yankee future. This team is a year, maybe two, from becoming a legitimate American League brawler. Pineda will probably never be a part of it, unless it's in the form of what we get in return. 

3. He's still likely to suck. In the 7th, after Longoria broke up the no-hitter with a double, it occurred to me that if Pineda surrendered a two-run HR on the next pitch - a common trait - he would hear boos walking off the mound. Can you imagine that? Guy throws nearly seven perfect innings, but the crowd would be angry? Still, who could blame them? I don't know when we can officially declare that Pineda is a solid starter, but with this guy's track record, it doesn't happen in one day. 

So what do we have? Damned if I know. From now on, let's make Austin Romine his personal catcher. And let's go bonkers if he looks dominant in the first few innings. Let's try to help him find himself. He's 28, entering his prime, and the better he pitches, the better off we'll be. But keep this in mind: Yesterday, Pineda lowered his 2017 season ERA to 3.97 - barely a whit below his career 4.03. He's been unhittable before. That's when the stink bomb goes off. So let's hold our noses and root.

11 comments:

John M said...

What we have here is what we've always had: a head case. It's great that he put on such a terrific show yesterday, but it's one day, one start out of so many, and so many ended so badly.

I wonder what we could get for him? There's always a team out there that thinks they can turn around someone like him. I mean, after all, he has great stuff.

KD said...

Reading Martha's tweet leads me to believe she was actually at the game. Perhaps with LBJ, although he'll never admit as much, I'm sure.

Is at-game JuJu more powerful than at-home JuJu?

el duque said...

At-home juju is far more potent. Being at the stadium drains your concentration - just as it does for Pineda.

Tom said...

2 good starts, perhaps even five, and then I predict he goes KABLOOEY again. Some have called him a headcase, but I think that gives him too much credit. As Girardi indicated during spring training, poor ol'Big Mike needs to marshall all his intellectual resources just to focus, to be disciplined in his approach pitch after pitch. His raw physical ability is beyond question, but as all those 0-2 gopher balls show, he may not have the brain power to finish what he starts.

The Montero trade must be classified as a lose-lose. Two good prospects ruined.

Anonymous said...

@John M... The problem is there always IS "another team" that turns around someone like him...makes me wonder what other pitching coaches have that the yanks current one does not...RIP Stottlemeyer

Alphonso said...

The ploy is to trade him back to Seattle for a hot, young, hitting prospect without a natural position.

Anonymous said...

WE HAVE SEEN HIM DO THIS BEFORE...... AND I REMEMBER SAYING THE SAME THING AS I SAID YESTERDAY, "HE IS USING A CHANGEUP A LOT TODAY, WHY DOESN'T HE USE IT ALL THE TIME?" .....HE WILL PROBABLY USE IT LESS AND LESS IN THE UPCOMING STARTS.....THAT'S WHEN THE BOMBS WILL START GOING OFF AGAIN..... HE JUST DOESN'T HAVE THE HEAD FOR LONG TERM DEPENDABILITY...... I WISH I WAS WRONG, BUT WE HAVE ALL SEEN THIS BEFORE.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


HE IS USING A CHANGEUP A LOT TODAY, WHY DOESN'T HE USE IT ALL THE TIME?" .....HE WILL PROBABLY USE IT LESS AND LESS IN THE UPCOMING STARTS.....

If that happens, wouldn't the fault lie, at least in part, with the catcher who's calling the game?

Alphonso said...

Unless Pineda waves him off with that stupid off-kilter hat.

Anonymous said...

MAYBE SO LBJ, BUT THE FINAL PITCH DECISION IS ALWAYS PINEDA'S..... UNFORTUNATELY.

Anonymous said...

Ya I would like Pineda more if I didn't have to see the stupid way he wears that hat!!!! It looks worse after a home run or a call to the bullpen sponsored by Tri state Ford.....