Michael Pineda enters the 2017 season in the final year of his contract with the New York Yankees.
But it was no surprise Pineda picked up where he left off in 2016 and delivered another lackluster start.
In just 3.2 innings, Pineda allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out six. Now, the four runs scoring wasn’t all Pineda’s fault; there were some defensive issues which allowed the runs to score. But Pineda didn’t stop the bleeding, and ended up opening the floodgates.
The last time Pineda won a start was on August 5th against the Cleveland Indians where he gave up four runs in six innings of work. That means it’s been 11 straight appearances that he hasn’t found himself in the win column; he’s 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA since then.
The Yankees are still insistent Pineda can be that dominant starter they traded Jesus Montero for. They just want more consistency.
“Eliminating the mistakes. We expect Michael to have a big year, pitch really well and get deeper into games,’’ Joe Girardi said after the Yankees lost 4-1 to the Rays on Wednesday night. “At times, Michael can be dominant. We’d like to see consistency.’’
Sure, and Yankees fans would like to see a 28th World Series championship happen in their lifetime.
Girardi has been thinking of ways to “fix” Pineda, so he could be the pitcher the Yankees saw in 2011. CC Sabathia also showed a vote of confidence in Pineda by saying Pineda was capable of winning a Cy Young.
“Offseason, in-season, midseason, every season,’’ Girardi said regarding Pineda. “It comes to mistakes and missed location. He’s probably left Larry scratching his head.’’
Well, the Yankees haven’t seen the results they wanted, which means they might have to consider a change if Pineda doesn’t get his act together. Maybe Pineda wasn’t meant to succeed as a New York Yankee, and maybe the Yankees should take a page out of the Ivan Nova handbook and trade Pineda at the deadline.
But it should only happen if the Yankees are out of contention then.