Yankees must trade Michael Pineda


By Christopher Saunders

Michael Pineda has disappointed Yankees fans for one too many years beginning in 2012. That season was cut short by a tear in his shoulder during spring training and missed the entire year.  A year later, he started and was on the disabled list, still recovering from his shoulder injury, and once he recovered the Yankees chose to keep him in the minor leagues.

In 10 minor league games that season, including his rehab, Pineda pitched to 3.32 ERA in 40.2 IP.

In spring training of 2014, Pineda competed for and won the fifth spot in the starting rotation. He then again strained a muscle near his rotator cuff while pitching a simulated game, suspension for foreign substance on his neck, which was supposed to sideline him for only three or four weeks weeks, but ended up keeping him out of action until August.

Prior to the suspension, Pineda had a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 IP in four games, and looked exactly like the stud the Yankees traded for a few years prior. After returning to the team in August, Pineda finished the season with a 5-5 record and a 1.89 ERA in 13 games started.

The 2015 season was supposed to be the year Pineda finally put it together for the Yankees and pitched a full season. There were talks before the season of Pineda being a dark horse Cy Young candidate, with some even saying he could emerge as the best pitcher in New York.

Pineda early in the season showed that potential, and pitched like the ace of the Yankees’ staff. However, as the season went on, he  struggled to find consistency, and for every start where he  lookedCy Young caliber, the next four would be subpar.

What makes matters worse is that 2016 wasn’t any different.

Pineda is a complete enigma as he has displayed dominance on the mound, yet owns a 4.89 ERA. Inconsistencies and an inability to pitch with two outs have been his downfall. This is an enigma the Yankees have been trying to solve over the last two years.

His phenomenal strikeout numbers — 202 strikeouts in 171.1 innings — will cause interest from other teams. There will be a number of teams willing to take a chance on Pineda, and at this point, it seems the only hope for Pineda is a change of scenery.

GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees are well aware of this. The return wouldn’t be great but the purpose of trading him is not to get an exciting player. The purpose of trading Pineda would be to open a rotation spot for a more deserving starting pitcher — presumably one who is younger or can be more consistent.  

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