Some good news for Pineda?

The news about Michael Pineda’s labrum injury prompted a lot of doom-and-gloom predictions that he may never be the same pitcher again.  In my post from this morning, I looked at a number of cases of pitchers who had labrum surgery, to compare their successes and outcomes.  One of the most notable successes was Curt...

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Waiting on Andy

Then there’s the question of performance. Pettitte, of course, hasn’t faced major league hitters since October of 2010, and though he won’t be the first pitcher to return after a year away from live action, at 40 years old there’s no guarantee he still has much left in the tank. On the plus side, however, the people who have seen him pitch in the minor leagues thus far have given him strongly positive reviews, especially for his command. That’s most welcome news, since it’s command that’s going to make or break him in the big leagues. The days of Pettitte the power pitcher are long gone, but Pettitte has already successfully transitioned into being the kind of starter who navigates an opposing lineup with precise command of multiple pitches and an expert grasp on the art of pitching. If those skills are sharp, and the arm is in good shape (most reports have his fastball maxing out around 87-88 MPH, which isn’t too far below the 89 MPH he averaged with the pitch in 2010), there’s a good chance Pettitte will be just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees.…

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A Survey of Shoulders

Expecting Pineda to be a factor in the 2013 rotation, I believe, is unrealistic. Even the best-case scenarios for labrum injuries generally include a nearly two-year rehabilitation period. Chris Carpenter‘s best seasons came after his labrum was repaired, but it was nearly 20 months between his initial operation and his return to the mound. Erik Bedard, likewise, seems to have made a more or less full recovery, but he also went close to 20 months without throwing a pitch in a major-league game. Both Carpenter and Bedard had to have “clean-up” surgeries after their initial procedures, thus delaying their returns.

Although I would hardly call the comparison scientific, based on initial reports, Pineda’s injury sounds somewhat similar to that which Freddy Garcia suffered in 2007. As Yankees fans well know, Garcia did work his way back to being a productive starter, even regaining most of his velocity (which was never really what he relied on anyway), but it took the better part of three years.…

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The accountability thing

Honestly, I don’t know exactly how I feel about all of that. I’m certainly more than a little bit peeved by the way things have gone down with Pineda since camp opened, and I certainly wouldn’t forcefully object to the idea of firing someone for it by any means, but I don’t have any idea who that someone should be. Mike Axisa summed the problem up nicely earlier this morning:

People like to assign blame in situations like this, but it really doesn’t help matters any. Blame Brian Cashman, blame the medical staff, blame Pineda, blame the Mariners, blame whoever you want. It won’t make Pineda’s shoulder any healthier. If you think this whole episode is a fireable offense, I won’t disagree with you. I don’t think you can have a trade of this magnitude go sour this quickly without someone being held accountable, I just don’t know who and neither do you.

That’s basically the long and short of things.…

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Some Interesting Early Season Trends

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The fun part about small sample sizes is the room for interpretation they leave when analyzing a player’s numbers and trying to identify what he’s doing right or wrong.  It’s pretty easy to look at a full season’s worth of stats...

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What do you do with a problem like Phil?

From a scouting standpoint, the same problems that have plagued Hughes since the second half of 2010 are still there, namely his inability to consistently put hitters away when he gets ahead of them. His strikeout rate suggests he’s getting better at this, but consistently making good pitches remains a problem. That Andrus at bat last night is a good example; he got Andrus out on his front foot with the curveball but, rather than burying the pitch in the dirt where Andrus would have flailed helplessly at it, Hughes left it a little bit up and Andrus was able to adjust enough to get the bat on it, making A-Rod charge to field it and giving an alert Mitch Moreland plenty of time to score. It looks like a minor thing, but it’s the difference between a run and a strikeout that gives you a chance to get the next batter and get out of the jam without any damage.…

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