Monday, June 26, 2017

It's time to start thinking about the second Michael Pineda trade

Okay, because this is what we're all secretly thinking...

In 49 at bats for the Norfolk Tides this season, Jesus "Ice Cream" Montero hath zero home runs - yep, nada - and he's batting a crisp, small sample .143. Jesus was resurrected two weeks ago after being caught last fall turning water into testosterone-fortified wine. So, yeah, if you're still scoring at home, we won the famous Nothing Burger Trade of 2012; we pulled one over on those smart-mouthed Seattle Mariners. For the Yankees to lose that deal, Michael Pineda would have to betray humanity for a Martian invasion or bring a silencing heartache to national songbird Taylor Swift. Even then, I might still sign off in favor of the trade.

But we've celebrated long enough. It's time for an endgame Pineda strategy. Let's face it: We're not going to sign his sideways cap to a long term contract this winter. Some NL team - (the, cough, Pirates, cough) - will give him five years at $60 million, and of course he'll thrive next year against pillbox lineups where the piddling pitchers come to bat. On that fateful snowy day, we'll get nothing for our troubles, and we will once again trot out Jesus Montero's meager stats, just to assure ourselves that it wasn't just some West Virginia opioid hallucination.

Yesterday, Suzyn Waldman devoted the meat of her pregame analysis to wondering which Pineda would show up - the one with 15 strikeouts over six shutout innings, or the Great Dumpling, who gives up three-run blasts with two outs. Within the first eight batters, that question was answered with dull, throbbing thunderclaps, and yet Jovial Joe - hoping that Pineda could occupy space and time - left him in just long enough to give up the fateful runs that would ice the game. Now, the real question across the Yankiverse is this: What the hell can we get for this guy - if anything - on or about July 31?

Yes, I'm suggesting what two weeks ago would have been blaspheme: Pineda needs to go - especially if he seems to turn it around. Two or three consecutive quality starts would make him very attractive to an NL team such as Milwaukee, which is chasing the playoffs after a generation of Selig disease, and I would love to see us get two solid Single A prospects - even if they eventually turn into Jesus Monteros. I don't care. Pineda's whole Yankee career has been one false positive after another, always followed by a floating three-run turd. Before the cock crows on August 1, Brain Cashman must summon the strength of character to trade Pineda for whatever we can get, regardless of the short term pain.

The most terrifying aspect of the current Yankee malaise is that it's not just a cold streak, a team-wide slump that we need to keep calm and carry on - that it's the cold stark reality of 2017. This team has overachieved, far beyond preseason specs. No matter what happens this fall, we built the infrastructure for future division titles and maybe a ring or two. But 2017 will be remembered as the year Aaron Judge truly arrived, joining Gary Sanchez (and maybe Greg Bird ad Clint Frazier?) to anchor our lineup. This is the year Luis Severino came of age, and future keys (Chance Adams, Glyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Dustin Fowler) rose in the system. This could be the year of the Second Pineda Trade, and wouldn't it be neat if it turned out as fruitful as the first?

It's no longer relevant to start each game wondering which Pineda will show up. We know which Pineda showed up: The one we cannot count on. It's time for an endgame. I'm tired of looking up Jesus' stats. I only want to do it one more time - the night of July 31. 

13 comments:

Buhner's Ghost said...

The Yankees ruined Pineda. He would be a star now in Seattle if Fat Jack Z hadn't been in love with power.

John M said...

Pineda is a head case. This is obvious from the way he wears his hat: the head is out of alignment.

Of course, he does have great stuff.

We got a great start out of Tanaka, who may be showing some signs of turning the season around, although his elbow may ultimately disagree. Otherwise, our pitching is poop. The bullpen has gone into a coma--although yesterday they did fine, after Binder Boy let the game get away by leaving Pinata in way too long.

I'm not even going to put the formal apostrophe in front of that "way," even though I know I should. This is what it's come to.

But, as Alphonso so accurately points out, Selig's parity has come home to roost. We don't have to be the '98 Yankees to win, we just have to be hotter than the other mediocrities who make the postseason. So we started out hot, became what we actually were during May and June, and now we can go on to July, August and September, when one or two streaks can get us home field advantage in the umpteen playoff rounds.

We'll need more kids from Scranton, though, and they'll have to figure things out fast.

Anonymous said...

JOHN IS RIGHT ON.....

.........AND WE REALLY NEED TO RELY MORE ON THE KIDS FROM SCRANTON (AND I'M NOT JUST TALKING REFSNYDER).....

Alphonso said...

And maybe add Jordan Montgomery to the list. Let's see if he can go 6 innings tonight.

Anonymous said...

Don't get rid of Big Mike! The key to fixing him is simple. When he pitches move the mound three feet to the third base side. This will make the brim of his cap and home plate line up eliminating his "tell" and balance the energy lines. Put the mound on wheels so it can be adjusted through out the game.

Larry Guru

John M said...

That is simply genius. I knew the cap was the giveway, but never thought of that.

John M said...

A commenter on another site reminded me: the bullpen didn't suck yesterday because Ty and Holder didn't pitch. Wonder if that will matter to Binder Boy going forward.

Alphonso said...

That new guy, the lefty, walked his first two batters and got out of it. That shows something.

A shitty piece of work followed by good fortune.

I'd always rather be lucky than good.

JJ in MA said...

Hear hear. I'm ready to see Tanaka go before he can opt out of his contract too.

Get what you can get for both of them and move forward, younger and hopefully stronger, but at least hopeful.

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

Listening how Castro met his swan tonight, I can't help wondering how these athletes go about sprinting and running.
I have always been amazed at how baseball players sit around, go have an at bat and are then expected to sprint full force to first.
Look at what real sprinters do before their run. Or for that matter, every athlete in any sport. They warm-up for ages because they know they otherwise will tweak something and get sidelined.

Every batter should at least be on a bike for a considerable time before stepping up to lessen the chance of straining a hamstring or tweaking the old gonad.

Everytime I see Judge sprinting his enormous frame over the bases I look at a grade 3 hamstring (or groin) waiting (running) to happen.

Leinstery said...

This team is an embarrassment. Even the wins (those things that happen once per week) make you cringe and are unsatisfying.

Girardi has gone into overdrive mismanaging the bullpen. Jonathon "Paul Quantril" Holder has made 33 appearances, yet Joey Blue Binders can't figure why he has been shaky of late. Game is close? Clippard you're in! Yesterday, John and Suzyn mapped out the disaster on the west coast and concluded that 5 of the six games they lost were lost by the bullpen. Now the two of them have really started to let their frustration seep into the booth and it didn't take a genius the pick up they were saying Joe's bullpen decisions cost them most of those games.

Fast forward to tonight, puts Holder in AGAIN with a five run lead. The poor guys arm is hanging by a thread but apparently no one else was available for the game, or perhaps the Joba rules now apply to Montgomery. So he lets a few men on, courtesy of the non error throwing error by the Brigadoon. Now let's bring in Betances for one out!!!! Chasen Shreve gets the ninth and has a patented Shreve inning. Now he has been useful of late, but the Binderman won't rest until he rounds into form and shits the bed every outing. So expect him out there for constantly for the next few weeks. Chapo nearly blows it and I feel an urge to wash.

Anonymous said...

Dear, sweet, kind, compassionate Joey B-B; once again, he didn't want to embarrass the other team, plus he wanted to make the final innings interesting for the fans - - thus, he did what Leinstery has masterfully detailed, above.

Somehow, as I indicated last night, I had a premonition that Swannie was just getting started on us...Bye-bye, Fidel...

If I had a direct line to that gorgeous black swan, I would beseech him to take a certain few of our pitchers under his capacious wing...if only. LB (No J)

John M said...

Swan-nie, how I love ya, how I love ya...my dear old Swannie...

Rhetorical question: Carter stinks but you can maybe blame him for a loss or two if you really stretch it. He wasn't good, but he didn't completely blow games as a rule. Girardi's choices, however, lose games consistently over the course of a season, year in and year out.

So, why did we let Carter go but are seemingly ready to throw another five-year contract at Binder Boy?