While the New York Yankees are still sitting atop the AL East approaching September, questions are beginning to arise about the future of baseball’s most storied franchise, particularly in the pitching department.
General Manager Brian Cashman has made every effort to bolster the Bombers’ pitching, trading young slugger Jesus Montero for promising hurler Michael Pineda, while also refusing to include young arms Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances in any trade talks over the past few seasons. Yet despite every effort, results have only proven to be negative.
Pineda, after sporting some promising peripherals in Seattle last season, has proven to be nothing more than an immature, unmotivated, bum. This reality was only reaffirmed Monday when the young righty was arrested for drunk driving before ever throwing a regular season pitch in pinstripes. It’s becoming increasingly clear as to why the Seattle Mariners were so willing to part ways with a promising young pitcher in exchange for a designated hitter (albeit a pretty damn good one); Pineda is damaged goods. While he may only be a 23-year-old kid, one has to wonder how committed he is to succeeding when he was out drinking until 3 a.m. in the midst of his rehab. You can’t teach work ethic, and Pineda appears to have none.
The “Killer B’s” have also had their fair share of struggles this season. The lefthander Banuelos, 21, has been out the majority of the year with an elbow injury, effectively stunting his development and causing concern about his durability. Right-hander Betances, on the other hand, while healthy, pitched so poorly in Triple-A Scranton (3-5, 6.39 ERA, K/BB rate barely over 1) that he was recently demoted to Double-A where he has had similar levels of success (6.15 ERA, .316 BAA). He’s also 24 and in his 7th year in the organization, so the clock is certainly ticking.
In fact, the most consistent young arm for the Yankees thus far has been David Phelps (2.69 ERA, 1.147 WHIP through 63.2 innings), a guy who’s projected ceiling is supposed to be somewhere between workable relief pitcher to spot-starter. Slightly concerning for a team that has three pieces with a mean age of about 35 (37 if you add Andy Pettitte to the mix) in their rotation.
The sense of urgency is being slightly masked by the robust performances of Hiroki Kuroda and Freddy Garcia (each with ERAs under 3.00 over the past nine starts), but at the ages of 37 and 35, respectively, the two veterans are likely nothing more than single season stopgaps.
Obviously, the Yankees do have some ability to spend their way out of trouble should it arise. But if Hal Steinbrenner does indeed want to see his payroll lowered to $189 million by 2014 while maintaining a high level of play, the many moves to acquire pitching youth have to work out. At this point, it’s looking suspect.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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