Now that they have the MRI results, the Yankees know what they’re dealing with. But that doesn’t mean they have all of the answers. What caused Michael Pineda’s injury, and what effect has it had on his pitching? Were there warning signs along the way, or was this completely unpredictable? Truth be told, there are a lot of variables in this situation, and there weren’t many definitive answers beyond the diagnosis.
Did the injury cause the velocity dip?
“There was always that curiosity, why isn’t it going up higher?” Joe Girardi said. “And as you’re looking for answers, we’re looking, too, trying to figure out why isn’t the velocity where it was last year? Is it the innings? Is he just not ready to turn it loose? What is it? None of us are ever really going to know, but right now, he’s shut down and we’ll get him back as soon as we can.”
Did trying to generate velocity lead to the injury?
“I think it’s possible,” Girardi said. “I think you can look at a lot of guys and nothing’s ever going to come back perfect if you do an MRI. It could just be the six and a half weeks accumulation of pitching and getting in shape, getting your arm in shape. That’s why we try not to rush guys. It could be (trying to generate velocity). It could be from him flying open a little bit. I know we talked about that yesterday. Who knows? It’s just normal workload that you get it.”
Did Phil Hughes’ troubles last year raise concerns about Pineda?
“I didn’t necessarily feel that way,” Girardi said. “Looking at Phil’s situation and looking at this I didn’t feel there was going to be a correlation, I didn’t. People’s bodies always respond different. Everyone’s different. I don’t think you can put, you know, any two human bodies in the same, you know, this is the reason it happened. Everyone is different.”
Do you buy into an innings jump leading to something like this?
“I do,” Girardi said. “I think there is something to it. I think you have to be careful. You have to protect players as they are maturing physically and making innings jumps, because a lot of time it’s the wear and tear over time that really hits you. If you ran a mile, mile, mile and then you went out and ran a marathon, you’re probably not going to feel the same as if you ran a mile. So you try to gradually increase just like you would with any activity.”
The injury could be the product of workload, or altered mechanics, or it could be normal wear and tear. The diminished velocity could be a byproduct of the soreness, a cause of the soreness, or it could a coinciding issue with no cause-effect relationship. The only thing to do now and is give Pineda time to heal and search for answers then.
Associated Press photo