He was right then, and he’s still right today. Neither Jesus Montero nor Michael Pineda has established himself at the big league level, and it’s too early to make any definitive statement of who “won” last winter’s blockbuster in the long-term. But in the short term, it’s certainly not a good sign that the Yankees most important Pineda updates involve throwing off flat ground.
“All I can report is his arm was working very well, very healthy, very loose,” Brian Cashman said in last week’s Pineda update. “He had zip on it. He’s in great physical shape in terms of body weight.”
In writing about it here on the blog, Brian Heyman hit the nail on the head with his opening sentence: Who knows what Michael Pineda is?
Montero wasn’t great last year. He was very good against lefties, terrible against righties and spent most of his time at designated hitter. The secondary elements of that trade, Hector Noesi and Jose Campos, were either awful (Noesi) or hurt (Campos) and so, the jury is still out. If anything, this winter’s free agent market — and the Yankees must-have desire to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda — show why Brian Cashman made the trade in the first place. Top-of-the-rotation potential is hard to find, and Cashman gave up middle-of-the-order potential to get it.
Will it work? We still don’t know, but simply getting Pineda healthy isn’t enough. Every “very healthy” update is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Pineda. There won’t be truly good news until Pineda is both very healthy and very effective, and we’re still a long way from that.
Associated Press photo