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Brian Cashman is one hell of an honest, candid general manager, and he's at it once again in the wake of this week's disastrous Michael Pineda news. Via Wallace Matthews at ESPN New York:
"This is a massive decision gone wrong right now," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. "So all scrutiny is fair."
There's really not any other way to put it. Trading Jesus Montero (and a guy) for Michael Pineda (and a guy) was a massive decision. For Michael Pineda to develop a tear in his shoulder labrum is for something to go wrong. Ergo, this is a massive decision gone wrong. But not every general manager would put it that way.
Later in the article, Cashman offers further rejections of the suggestion that the Mariners knew they were trading a damaged pitcher. Cashman has repeatedly insisted that the Yankees gave Pineda a thorough work-up at the time of the trade, and could find nothing wrong. If Pineda had a damaged labrum, they would've found it. They didn't find it. But people will continue to believe what they want to believe, despite all the evidence, because people are irrational and frequently horrible when they're upset. Certain Yankees fans have to believe in sabotage because certain Yankees fans have to believe this wasn't just bad luck.
Tucked in at the bottom of the article is some very interesting information, at least in my mind:
According to Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees' team doctor who will assist in the surgery, and other sources who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com, the fact that Pineda's tear is in the anterior, or front, of the labrum increases his chances for a full recovery. A posterior labral tear often involves the rotator cuff, which Dr. Ahmad said was not affected in Pineda's case.
One source put Pineda's chances for a full recovery at 85 percent after a long period of rehabilitation, expected to be 12 months from the date of the surgery.
So, something encouraging. And something maybe discouraging, depending on how much you believe that one source, and what you think of approximate 85-percent odds. Michael Pineda coming back and looking strong is more likely than Michael Pineda not coming back, or Michael Pineda coming back and not looking so strong, but for now, nobody knows much more than that.
In the wake of the disheartening news about Michael Pineda, there's been a lot of loose talk about the history of labrum injuries and Pineda's prognosis. For instance, Curt Schilling weighed in with his personal experience, and essentially suggested that if Pineda works hard enough he'll come back better than ever. And sooner than everyone says.
Unfortunately, a lot of the analysis implicitly assumes that all labrum injuries are the same. They're not. The reports suggest that Schilling's injury was not the same as Pineda's.
Fortunately, Baseball Prospectus's Jay Jaffe has done the grunt work, identifying 67 pitchers with labrum injuries, then distilling all the details until he found those with injuries that seem truly similar to Pineda's.
The grand total is three.
The bad news is that Miller never really made it back, and that Sanchez needed roughly three years to get back on track. The good news is that Sanchez is back on track, and that Valverde became a fine closer (though as Jaffe notes, Valverde's injury might have been less severe than the others').
The takeaway is that we really just don't know what's next for Pineda. Except many months of grueling rehabilitation. That's a given. But there is a wide range of possible outcomes here. If you're a fan of fulfilled potential, all you can do is hope for the best.
Michael Pineda's torn labrum is a pretty important baseball story, and here's how you know it's a pretty important baseball story: Curt Schilling has weighed in on it. Schilling, you see, had surgery on his labrum nearly two decades ago, recovered quickly, and went on to have an outstanding career. What does he think about Pineda's situation? Let's ask him, because he's only too willing to tell.
"He can be back better than he has ever been in 10 months," said Schilling, now an ESPN baseball analyst. "Maybe less, because he is younger. It is going to be 100 percent on him."
"I came back after my surgery, throwing four to six miles harder than I did before," he said. "That is where the magic is. It is all about rehab. Most doctors can make you 100 percent well physically. I would tell you that it is 25 percent about the surgery and 75 percent about the rehab."
Michael Pineda was given an approximate 12-month timetable, and Schilling thinks he can be back much sooner than that. In fact, Schilling seems to think he should be back much sooner than that, provided he's disciplined in his rehab. Schilling believes Pineda can recover quickly because Schilling recovered quickly.
Curt Schilling knows more about recovering from a torn labrum than I do, because Curt Schilling has recovered from a torn labrum. But Curt Schilling is just providing anecdotal evidence, which is worthless. What happened with Schilling doesn't mean anything for Pineda. What means something for Pineda is what happened with the entire pool of pitchers with torn labrums. And that's where we see mixed results.
Hell, this same article concludes by talking about Mark Mulder, who went under the knife and never came all the way back. What Schilling might say is that Mulder didn't rehab well enough. It isn't that simple.
This stuff is tricky. Schilling hasn't seen Pineda's medical file. Dr. Craig Morgan, who's quoted in the article, hasn't seen Pineda's medical file. They don't know what his situation is, they don't know how well the operation's going to go, and they don't know how well Pineda's body is going to heal. There's so much they don't know. It's definitely possible that Pineda could return ahead of schedule. No doubt. It's also possible that he could return behind schedule, or even never return at all. The timetables that players get are essentially averages. Averages come with error bars. Every average.
There have been a lot of advances. Most likely, a torn labrum becomes decreasingly serious for a pitcher with every passing day. Procedures get better, recoveries get faster. We don't know what's going to happen with Michael Pineda. Neither does Curt Schilling. He might think that he does, but Curt Schilling thinks a lot of things.
Michael Pineda was supposed to play a key role in the Yankees' rotation this season, but instead he's out of action until 2013. How badly will he be missed?
This article from Larry Stone was actually written more than two years ago, and was written because of Erik Bedard's labrum tear, and not Michael Pineda's labrum tear. At the time, Michael Pineda didn't have a labrum tear. At the time, Michael Pineda was barely a thing. I mean, he was a pitcher, and a very big pitcher, but he wasn't yet a can't-miss pitcher, and, er, you know what I mean. Bedard, Pineda, it doesn't matter. Stone's information is still valid.
Stone looks at five pitchers who underwent labrum surgery and tracks their recoveries. This is some ground that Grant already covered in the update below, but also some new ground. An (extended) excerpt:
Casey Janssen, Blue Jays
March 18, 2008: Undergoes surgery to repair torn labrum in right shoulder, misses entire 2008 season.
May 23, 2009: After throwing 23 2/3 innings of rehab assignments in the minors, with a 0.76 ERA, Janssen makes first major-league appearance, giving up three runs in a six-inning start against Atlanta.
June 16, 2009: Janssen placed on disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He had a 2-3 record and 6.23 ERA in five starts.
Aug. 15, 2009: Janssen returns to majors, working a scoreless inning of relief against Tampa Bay. He appeared in 16 games the rest of the season, all in relief, with a 5.14 ERA.
Timetable: From initial surgery to first major-league appearance, 14 months and five days.
And, hey, Erik Bedard. Bedard had surgery on his labrum in 2009. He wound up missing the entire 2010 season after experiencing a setback during a rehab assignment, but in 2011, he was mostly outstanding, striking out a batter an inning over 24 starts. There is hope for Michael Pineda and the Yankees yet. There's just a long, long way to go before the Yankees have an idea of what Pineda's going to be on the other side.
There are injuries that take time to heal. There are injuries that take a lot of time to heal. And then there are torn labrums, which take a lot of time and even more luck.
Luck might not be the right word. But there's an uncertainty about labrum tears and shoulder injuries in general that makes them especially ominous when they happen to pitchers. Michael Pineda's career might not be over, but it's hard to imagine worse injury news. In 2004, Will Carroll described labrum injuries thusly:
But if pitchers with torn labrums were horses, they'd be destroyed. Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level. Think about that when your favorite pitcher comes down with labrum trouble: He has a 3 percent chance of becoming Rocky Biddle.
Even more ominous: Biddle's career ended a few months after that article was published. The article goes into great detail about the perils of shoulder injuries for pitchers.
But it is 2012, not 2004, so it's safe to assume that some progress has been made over the last decade. Bartolo Colon is a major-league pitcher again -- and a good one -- because he was injected with stem cells. Alex Rodriguez is playing with the help of his own centrifuge-spun blood. So it follows that medical science has advanced with regards to labrums as well.
Chris Carpenter is a famous success story, coming back after labrum surgery to star with the Cardinals and become something of a workhorse. Perhaps the best recovery from a labrum injury in baseball history was Curt Schilling, who had a labral tear repaired in 1995, before he was a star pitcher. If you are not squeamish -- I mean if you're really not squeamish -- you can look at pictures of Schilling's second labrum surgery and read his accompanying writeup:
This first picture is my labrum. This actually looks rather innocent until you realize this. That white wispy cotton looking material is my labrum and that solid bone thing to the right is my bone at the joint. The white wispy thing is supposed to be adhered to the bone and NOT all frayed and floating. Basically I had a torn labrum from about 10 o’clock to 3 o’clock.
If you're the squeamish type and you still click on that link after reading that, you have only yourself to blame.
Pineda will not be back for a long time, that much is a given. And there is no shortage of scary names associated with labrum surgery -- Robb Nen, Ben Sheets, Brandon Webb -- but there are also success stories like Carpenter, Schilling (the first time), and Ted Lilly. It's about a year or two too early to know a whole lot more.
But Pineda has one of the few injuries in baseball that doesn't have a great history of recovery, nor does it have an exact timetable to follow. The shoulder is still a pitcher's worst nightmare
Michael Pineda has a torn labrum. That's a thing in his shoulder, and that's a lousy thing for a pitcher to tear. If there's any silver lining for the New York Yankees, it's that the tear is small and should be able to be repaired arthroscopically. But it's still a torn labrum, and a torn labrum is still one of the worst things that can happen to a pitcher's body.
So when did this happen? Has this been the problem the whole time, or is this a new thing? Brian Cashman has his suspicions:
Cashman: "We believe this took place on the last pitch of his rehab outing."— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) April 25, 2012
Pineda supposedly felt a sharp pain in his last game. That would seem to correlate to the injury. The question, then, is if the labrum injury is new, why was Pineda's velocity down all spring? Were the two unrelated? It's curious. It's also not what's important at the moment.
Here's the present outlook:
Dr. Ahmad said if rehab goes well, Pineda could be ready to pitch in major league games in 12 months. Best-case he's looking at late-April.— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) April 25, 2012
"If rehab goes well." You can never know with these things. I like how Dr. Ahmad skipped right over saying "if surgery goes well, too". There's a guy who's confident. The best the Yankees can hope for is that come next May, Michael Pineda is the Michael Pineda they thought they were getting. I don't know how probable that is, but this isn't the time for pessimism. The time for pessimism was when Michael Pineda was throwing with reduced velocity, and now look where we are. It's time for optimism. Michael Pineda will be fine! Baseball would be better if Michael Pineda turns out fine.
I'm going to go ahead and rip the band-aid right off. You've seen the headline. Michael Pineda has been on the disabled list for the Yankees, and he recently had an MRI on his right shoulder, which has led to the following:
pineda has a torn labrum. surgery tuesday— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 25, 2012
When people noticed Michael Pineda's reduced velocity in spring training, this is what they were afraid of.
When people noticed Michael Pineda's continued reduced velocity in spring training, this is what they were afraid of.
When people heard Michael Pineda experienced a setback during a minor-league rehab assignment, this is what they were afraid of.
At any point, it could've been nothing. It's all very much something. Pineda doesn't have inflammation, and he doesn't need Tommy John surgery, and he doesn't need to get his rotator cuff repaired - he needs to get his shoulder labrum repaired, and this is about as bad as it gets for a pitcher. There are degrees of labrum tearing, of course, and smaller tears are better than bigger tears, but a tear is a tear, and this is one procedure from which full recovery is not guaranteed. This isn't Tommy John surgery. The Yankees can't simply count on having Pineda back and available and good next May or June.
There are success stories. Chris Carpenter had labrum surgery a long time ago and he turned into Chris Carpenter. One figures the outlook is getting better all the time, but the only way this news could've been worse for Pineda and the Yankees is if Pineda had injuries to his labrum and something else. Or a damaged brain stem, but I don't think that was ever a possibility.
Michael Pineda underwent a full examination when he was traded to the Yankees from the Mariners, which he passed. Either that examination missed something, or in the time since, he's developed a torn labrum. He's going to be out for a long time. One simply hopes that someday he can get back to being Michael Pineda.
The New York Yankees shut down starting pitcher Michael Pineda on Saturday, citing persistent weakness in his shoulder. Pineda did not start the season with the Yankees after initially experiencing the shoulder tendinitis this spring. He was slated to pitch two innings in an extended spring training game on Saturday afternoon in Tampa, and he continued to experience the shoulder weakness that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman, who first reported that Pineda was being shut down, exchanged emails with Yankees' General Manager Brian Cashman:
Emailed Cashman about Pineda's setback. Response: "Of course I am concerned - don't have an answer." #Yankees— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) April 21, 2012
Sherman reported that the Yankees will determine how to proceed with the young righty over the next few days. He will be examined by the team doctor to determine if something beyond the originally diagnosed tendinitis is creating the problem.
Good news for the New York Yankees: Michael Pineda is already feeling "much better", at least according to Michael Pineda. Who is the same guy who repeatedly denied that his shoulder hurt when his shoulder hurt. But anyway.
Neutral news for the New York Yankees: Michael Pineda won't pitch for the Yankees in April. Don't take my word for it. Take this guy's word for it.
Girardi: "Safe to say" Pineda won't pitch in majors in April— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 6, 2012
It's not a surprise. Even though Pineda's condition isn't thought to be serious, he isn't ready to pitch right now. Once he is ready to pitch, he'll have to re-do a lot of his spring training. That takes time, so Pineda's return to the major leagues is still some ways away.
Incidentally, you know who else's return is coming up? A certain Andy Pettitte's. It's going to be really interesting to monitor the Yankees' rotation in the early going. For those of you conscious of Pineda's service time, the Yankees could opt to keep him in the minors following his DL stint and rehab assignment, saying that none of the starting five deserves to lose their job. This is me speculating. What we can say for sure is that, if Pineda recovers well and Pettitte continues to get stronger as projected, the Yankees' rotation should eventually look fantastic.
Michael Pineda has had a rough spring for the Yankees, following his acquisition from the Mariners for Jesus Montero. His outing Friday night against the Phillies, a 71-pitch marathon that didn’t get out of the third inning, had the Yankees schedule a shoulder MRI for early Saturday.
The results were not positive:
Pineda to dl with right shoulder tendonitis
— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) March 31, 2012
David Waldstein has additional information:
Pineda goes on 15-day DL and Yankees will be conservative with him. Garcia officially in rotation and will probably pitch in fifth game.
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) March 31, 2012
“Be conservative”. That means the Yankees could be lucky to see Pineda back in action before the All-Star break.
We already told you that Michael Pineda was lousy for the Yankees against the Phillies Friday night. He threw 71 pitches without escaping the third inning, and his velocity was down again, with his mechanics allegedly out of whack. Potentially even worse? I'll give you potentially even worse:
Pineda said his arm was sore tonight, and when asked where exactly, he pointed to back of right shoulder.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 31, 2012
Pineda insisted that the shoulder discomfort was normal, but it also took a while to get him to admit to any shoulder discomfort at all, and unsurprisingly, the Yankees are going to investigate:
After complaining tonight of soreness behind right shoulder, Michael Pineda will have MRI tomorrow morning.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 31, 2012
A hurt shoulder would explain ... pretty much everything. Reduced velocity. Reduced command. Inconsistent mechanics. The Yankees, of course, don't want Pineda to have a hurt shoulder, but at least it would be an explanation.
As part of the offseason trade, Pineda underwent a thorough physical, including a shoulder MRI that he obviously passed. If anything in there is wrong, it's gone wrong fairly recently. So Yankees fans can't complain about damaged goods, not that that's any consolation at all. Like, seriously, that is zero consolation.
This is among the messages we woke up to Friday:
To answer some questions: I think there is a better chance than not that Pineda is in rotation, but it is not certain yet.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) March 30, 2012
When the Yankees traded for Michael Pineda, they figured he could be effective right away. He showed up to camp overweight and had yet to reach the velocity he reached in 2011. His spring training hadn't been a disaster, but it'd been questionable, and people were wondering if he might be ticketed for triple-A.
If Pineda began Friday with decent odds of breaking camp in the Yankees' rotation, those odds aren't so decent anymore. Friday night he started against the Phillies, and here's his last pitch:
The missed location, the body language, the result ... Pineda retired eight batters. He allowed seven hits, three walks, and six runs, while striking out two. His fastball reportedly topped out at 94, but mostly sat in the same 89-92 range it's been occupying all month. His changeup and slider were said to be okay, but Pineda works off of his fastball, and his fastball now isn't what it was.
Pineda's job is very much in jeopardy. For all I know right now, Friday might've been his last chance. A report from the ballpark:
Scout in stands thinks Pineda may be costing himself velocity because of his mechanics. Arm slot is off, he says.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) March 30, 2012
The Yankees could choose to believe that Pineda will get things straightened out when the games are meaningful. They could believe that he's still working himself into game shape. But the Yankees could also decide that Pineda's a little messed up, and in need of some tweaking that isn't best done in the major leagues. There's less pressure in the minors, and more freedom to try things out without worrying so much about the score.
The Yankees didn't think they'd have an interesting decision to make with regard to Michael Pineda. They've got one. As noted before, if Pineda goes to the minors for a few weeks before coming back up, the Yankees will gain a year of team control. That's a plus. But the Yankees probably aren't thinking about 2017 Michael Pineda so much as they're thinking about 2012 Michael Pineda, because 2012 Michael Pineda doesn't look right.
Depending on your perspective, Michael Pineda and Madison Bumgarner are either a lot alike, or not alike at all. On the one hand, they're both in their low-20s and are starting pitchers in the major leagues. On the other hand, Pineda is right-handed and was born in the Dominican Republic, while Bumgarner is left-handed and was born in North Carolina. For the record, my belief is that DNA trumps everything and that Pineda and Bumgarner are practically twins.
There's something else Pineda and Bumgarner have in common: Bumgarner once struggled with confusingly low velocity, and Pineda is struggling with confusingly low velocity now. At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron offers a suggestion on what the Yankees could do:
My suggestion – follow the Madison Bumgarner model and have him begin the season in Triple-A.
The Yankees should look at Bumgarner and be encouraged. Not every pitcher who has mysteriously lost their top end fastball has had to live without it forever. If Pineda is not compensating for an injury (and at this point, there haven’t been any indications that he is), there is a real chance that his velocity could return. However, it may behoove the Yankees to let him get his fastball back in the minors, at least to begin the season.
The Yankees have the starting-pitching depth, and as we've written here before, if Pineda hangs out in triple-A for a little while, the Yankees would gain an extra year of team control. You'd think that sort of thing would matter to the Yankees the least, but it still matters.
If Pineda comes out blazing in his final few Grapefruit League outings, everything that's happened up until now will be forgotten. If his fastball continues to underwhelm, the Yankees will have a very interesting decision to make.
Michael Pineda started again for the Yankees on Tuesday. The good news was that his fastball velocity showed a slight uptick, and that he struck out five batters in three innings. The bad news was that his fastball velocity still wasn't where it was in 2011, and that he was supposed to last longer than three innings. Indeed, Michael Pineda is still searching for a groove.
How critical is it that Pineda re-discover his missing miles? Andrew Marchand writes:
Last season, Pineda threw 755 fastballs that were 95-MPH or better. Of those, batters hit .180. Their slugging was .285. Batters missed these pitches almost a quarter (23 percent) of the time.
Pineda threw 627 fastballs at 94 or slower. Opponents hit .294 on those offerings. They slugged at .476. They only missed 17 percent of the time.
We're dealing with small sample sizes here, so we can't say anything conclusive. It stands to reason, though, that Pineda would have more success with faster fastballs than with slower fastballs. It's definitely not good news that his velocity is down.
The Yankees can be encouraged that Pineda's fastball showed signs of progress Tuesday. It is still March. He might still be building, and the familiar zip might still come. Additionally, if Pineda improves his changeup, that could only help him regardless of where his fastball tops out. There are plenty of ways that Michael Pineda could go on to be a very successful pitcher.
But for now, questions remain. Writes Jon Heyman:
The mystery of the deal so far is Pineda. who looks rather ordinary in Yankees camp, and now may seriously have to fight for a spot in the rotation. Mariners people are shocked to hear the so-so radar readings and say they have no idea how that could be happening while also insisting he'll be fine. And maybe he will.
When Andrew Marchand wrote this article, Michael Pineda had made two spring starts for the Yankees. He's now made a third, and he still doesn't look like the guy the Yankees thought they were getting when they surrendered Jesus Montero. It's only the middle of March, so Pineda has time to get going, but Marchand wonders if Pineda could be ticketed for triple-A out of camp:
When I look at what the Yankees may do with their starting staff, the more I think about it the more I think Michael Pineda could start the season in the minors.
If Pineda doesn't show control of 95-96 mph stuff, then wouldn't the Yankees and Pineda be better served if he worked on things under the lesser microscope of the minors? It is one way for the Yankees to contain expectations, while continuing to foster Pineda's growth.
I think it's still a long shot, especially now with Freddy Garcia hurt, but it wouldn't be absolutely crazy. If Pineda continues to scuffle in camp, he could try to work things out in the minors, and if the Yankees left him down there for a few weeks they would gain an extra year of team control. Handy reasons, both of them.
One more time: it's early. Pineda could be great in 2012. But the Yankees probably expected a little more in the early going than they've seen.
Michael Pineda raised a few eyebrows when, in his first spring-training start with the Yankees, his fastball topped out in the low 90s. But it was early, and everyone was told not to worry too much. And I don't think people did worry too much. In Pineda's second start, he didn't get up to 96 or 97, but he showed a little improvement. It was comforting.
Thursday, Pineda made his third start. Those eyebrows are raised again. Facing the Nationals, his results were okay, striking out four of 15 batters with a walk and two runs. But here's Andrew Marchand:
But there was also this: Scouts behind home plate had Pineda's velocity at mostly 90-92.
When Pineda dominated in the first half of last year, he threw his fastball in the mid-90s. Last spring, at this time, Pineda was throwing 95-98 and his change-up was at 88.
It's still early. But it's less early than it used to be, and this is going to be a thing until Pineda airs it out. He's thrown some sharp sliders, and that's neat. He's thrown some good change-ups, and that's great. But his fastball isn't there yet, and his fastball is a big part of his identity. With a worse fastball, Pineda is presumably a worse pitcher.
We're still not at the point at which people should freak out. I'm guessing Joe Girardi and the Yankees agree. Maybe Pineda's backing off on his fastball on purpose, because there's no need to go max velocity in March. It's just that this hasn't gone away. Michael Pineda's fastball is still something for us to keep our eyes on, and the nearer we get to Opening Day, the greater the concern.
Michael Pineda's been in the news because his fastball velocity, in his Grapefruit League debut, was down significantly from 2011. There was a wave of concern, followed by a wave of people instructing the concerned people to not be concerned. But here's Will Carroll, concerned:
Worse, Pineda is headed to the Yankees, a team that simply has a poor record of getting young pitchers into their rotation and keeping them healthy. Along with Ivan Nova (24 last season), the 23-year-old Pineda is fighting history and probability as much as he will be the hitters of the AL East.
Carroll isn't so concerned with Pineda's reduced velocity. That doesn't seem to be the issue. Rather, Carroll uses Pineda's presence in the news as a jumping-off point to express concern about his new handlers. Carroll talks about the Yankees, and Joe Girardi, and Larry Rothschild, and he notes:
Girardi’s track record with young pitchers isn’t ideal, but he’s got a pitching coach to handle those sorts of things, right? The Yankees brought in Larry Rothschild two seasons ago but it wasn’t for his track record with young pitchers.
Basically, don't necessarily be worried about Michael Pineda because his velocity was down. Be worried about Michael Pineda because he's a young, hard-throwing pitcher surrounded by people with spotty track records.
Monday, Michael Pineda made his Yankees debut. The good news was that he didn't allow a run in two innings, generating a pair of strikeouts. The bad news was this:
Adding on, Keith Law said that, a year ago, on March 7, 2011, Pineda was throwing 93-96. It's just two innings - the first two innings - but has Michael Pineda given the Yankees a reason to be concerned?
Not so, says Dave Cameron at FanGraphs:
Bottom line – this just isn’t really something to be overly concerned with. He only threw two innings in an exhibition game, and did so after being strongly encouraged to work on his change-up during Spring Training. For Pineda, there was no incentive to come out throwing 95, and he’s already shown that he prefers to work at lower velocities early in games.
There's a lot more than just that paragraph in the link, so you should read the link. It'll take you like three minutes. Maybe four. I know you're not doing anything important since you're already reading this.
Here's what to make of Michael Pineda's reduced velocity: it's something to watch going forward. But it's not yet something to be worried about going forward. Even though Pineda reportedly topped out at 92, Joe Girardi didn't express any concern, and the truth is that there's a long way to go. There's a lot more spring, and Pineda could gain velocity over the course. He didn't need to come out blazing Monday. It might even be better that he didn't.
If it gets to be the regular season and Pineda isn't throwing like he used to throw, that'll be a thing. That's when the Yankees will want to figure out what's going on. It isn't the regular season yet, and it isn't particularly close. Patience.
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