Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pineda Is a Problem

Right now, Michael Pineda's best friend is Matt Harvey. So much fuss is being made over "The Dark Knight" not pitching like an ace that Pineda's struggle is barely being noticed.

Yesterday afternoon, at Tropicana Field, Pineda fell behind 5-0 after 2 innings, and didn't get out of the 4th. Joe Girardi thankfully did not waste the good relievers on a game already lost, instead sending out Luis Cessa and Nick Goody.

Carlos Beltran hit his 12th home run of the season, the 404th of his career, and his 2,500th career hit. Chase Headley and Austin Romine each had 3 hits, and Jacoby Ellsbury had 2. The Yankees got 5 runs, and that should be enough.

It wasn't. Rays 9, Yankees 5. WP: Matt Moore (2-3). No save. LP: Pineda (2-6).

The expression on Girardi's face as he takes the ball from Pineda tells the story.

So what's the story? Is Pineda hurt? They should check him for injury. If not, send him down to the minors for a while, and let him find his command, control and rhythm against minor-league hitters.

But if the Yankees are going to make the Playoffs, they need to have solid starting pitchers in all 5 slots: Pineda, CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova.

Luis Severino is making a rehab start in A ball in Tampa today. Meaning he'll probably make one in AA in Trenton, and one in AAA in Scranton, before rejoining the Yankees.

Sabathia, Tanaka and Eovaldi are as good as any top 3 starters in baseball. Certainly, they're better than the Mets' top 3. But for the last 2 starting slots, 2 of these 3 must come through regularly: Pineda, Severino and Nova.

Right now, I'm not sure we can count on any of those 3. Hopefully, Severino's problem was just his injury, and that will mean we'll only need to count on 1 of 2 for the last slot.

The series concludes this afternoon. Eovaldi starts vs. Jake Odorizzi. Then, the Yankees head across the border to Toronto, to face those pesky Blue Jays. And they'd better play them better than they did in The Bronx last week.

At least, if they do, they won't whine about it, like Met fans in regard to Harvey. Or in regard to Noah Syndergaard and the rest of their Small Club In Flushing vs. Chase Utley.

No comments: