Michael Pineda was supposed to be a big part of the New York Yankees rotation in the 2014 season, especially after beating out David Phelps and Vidal Nuno for the 5th and final spot in the rotation during spring training.
The plan was going great in the first month with Pineda pitching to a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA in his first four starts of the season, and in his Yankees career which began with him spending two years on the sidelines due to shoulder surgery. Then after the pine tar incident on April 23, everything changed.
Pineda was suspended for 10 days, strained his back in a simulated game which landed him on the 15-day disabled list on May 6, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list after being shut down from an extended spring training game and likely won't pitch again until at least August. The Yankees may have finally hit their boiling and breaking point this year with Pineda, as Will Carroll from Sports Medicine Magazine has reported that if Pineda needs to be shut down again, the team will shut him down for the season and then strongly consider non-tendering him after the 2014 season is over.
Hearing Pineda gets one more shot at rehab and then the Yankees will shut him down and walk away.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) June 14, 2014
* @bdelbanco Nontender.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) June 14, 2014
Pineda is one of three starters on the disabled list currently; CC Sabathia is also on the DL with a knee injury and won't be back until after the All Star break and Ivan Nova is out for the season with a torn ligament in his elbow and needed Tommy John Surgery. Both Pineda and Sabathia's injuries have people heavily speculating that the Yankees will make at least one trade for a starting pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline.
Pineda was part of the trade that sent Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners back in January of 2012, a deal that many considered to be a great one because of his rookie season and the possibilities of him becoming a potential future ace for the Yankees, but it has been anything but and has been one setback after another.
While it would be tough to give up on a 25-year-old who already showed progress during the first month of the season, at the same time, the Yankees haven't been able to rely on Pineda in the last three years and you can't blame the team for getting frustrated with what they have seen from the right-hander, especially since they dealt their top catching prospect to get him almost three years ago.
For Pineda's sake, he needs his rehab to go smoothly and hope he can come back with a force in August because if not, he may be finding work elsewhere after the season.
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