Blog Entry

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:40 pm
Their winter hibernation just ended. And just like that, the New York Yankees made themselves into AL East favorites.

Adding Michael Pineda from Seattle has all the earmarks of acquiring a young CC Sabathia or, ahem, Felix Hernandez -- the ace the Mariners wouldn't trade.

Adding Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year, $10 million deal adds the kind of rotation depth they could only dream of last summer -- and, presumably, a right-hander with more staying power than Bartolo Colon had.

"Wow," one scout said Friday night. "They've been laying in the weeds. They hadn't done anything."

Yes. Hadn't.

Though the Yankees gave up a consensus future star in young slugger-to-be Jesus Montero, exactly the kind of young bat the Mariners need and a great move for them, Pineda and Kuroda join CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and maybe even Freddy Garcia in giving the Yankees the talent, depth and clout their rotation needs to take them deep into October.

Just a few days after meeting with the representatives for free agent Edwin Jackson, the Yankees became the talk of the industry on what had been a slow Friday night with their stealth move for Pineda, who, at 22, already is within sight of becoming an ace.

"He's got that kind of stuff," a scout who spent part of last summer focusing on AL West clubs said Friday night. "If you wanted to be conservative, he's a No. 2. He's got velocity, he came up with a slider that got better and better last year and he throws strikes. When he gives up a home run or a hard-hit ball, it does not chase him out of the strike zone.

"He's got that rare combination of stuff and control. He's young, he's not afraid, he's big, he's still growing and he's got makeup. He's a prize.

"And the Yankees will have, what, five years of control over him? He's the kind of guy you build around. Holy cow."

The Mariners were worried about rushing him too quickly last summer when they installed him into their rotation coming out of spring training. He pretty much immediately showed them, no sweat.

By season's end, over 28 starts, he struck out 173 hitters while walking just 55 over 171 innings. His average fastball was clocked at 94.7 m.p.h., according to FanGraphs.

What's notable about that? The fastballs of only three other AL starters checked in higher: Texas' Alexi Ogando, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay's David Price.

Kuroda? He turns 37 next month. But he gave the Dodgers 202 innings in 2011, going 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA. He's a competitor with fierce pride.

"Solid No. 3," the scout said. "He throws strikes, he's got good stuff, a crisp fastball that's deceptive and he throws harder than people think. He's at 90 to 94 with sink down in the zone, a crisp breaking ball and a good split.

"He's got out pitches. I'd love to have Kuroda."

Now the Yankees do. And Pineda. And Sabathia and Nova and Hughes and Burnett. ...

And as they search for a hitter, for now, they've still got 6-8 right-hander Dellin Betances and lefty Manny Banuelos, who opened many eyes last spring.

"Hanging onto Betances and Banuelos [and with Pineda on board], they've got three young-gun studs who should pitch for them for a long time," the scout said. "And Nova's not that old and Hughes isn't that old.

"They've got the makings of a young, under-control staff."

Yeah, sure, why not? On a night on which the Yankees proved they're not sleeping through the winter, why not add to their opponents' misery just a little bit more?

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 4:26 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Montero can't even catch. That is why the Yankees shipped him out. To get Pineda is ridiculous. If anything he is a steal. Five controllable years which means he will be easy to build around. If Kuroda isn't durable this year the Yankees can go out and get Hamels next year. Good luck everyone else!!!!!

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 27, 2012 3:02 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I still think the jury is out on Pineda.   He needs to come in and prove that he can pitch in the American League East something he couldnot do last season.

The big question Yankee fans are asking is Pineda for real or is he this years Jeff Weaver..  For those of  you who don't remember Jeff Weaver he was just one of the many that Brian Cashman said was going to be the Ace of Yankee staffs for years to come when he got him from Detroit.  Infact the press all said that Brian Cashman stold him. 

Quess what both the press and Brian Cashman forgot to do  Tell the rest of the Leauge that Weaver was going to be great.  He got pounded and the guy that Brian Cashman said was going to be the Ace of the Yankee starting staff was gone in17 months.     

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:01 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:33 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

The only caveat I'd add on Pineda is that he's a fly ball pitcher going to a band box, whereas Seattle was a much more favorable pitching park.  Still, he's right at the top of the best young pitchers in the league bar none. 

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:29 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

That Brian guy was obviously an idiot who had to go.  That said, the redwings guy made a statement that grated on my like nails across a chalkboard.  He claimed that only an idiot would choose Pineda over Fister.  That statement doesn't say much for redwings' baseball acumen.  A couple of years ago a poster ridiculed the Angels for trading for Dan Haren's salary (who was struggling in AZ at the time but those in the know realized it was more bad luck than skill).  He called Haren for Joe Saunders "a wash".  Redwings' statement is not quite as outrageously ridiculous, but it isn't too far off either.

1) I guarantee there isn't a scout out there worth his salt who would agree with that statement. 
2) I play fantasy baseball on a very high level and with a lot of success (I've won many thousands of dollars over the years at this game).  So I have a high level of knowledge about Sabermetrics, which give a more true assessment of a player's ability and performance level. 

Fister- definitely stepped up last year in the second half, though he actually pitched decently in the first.  There are several signs of regression though, and keep in mind that seven of his starts for the Tigers were against the Royals, Indians, and Twins.  With mediocre strikeout ability he relies on pinpoint control and serving up heavy ground balls to be successful.  His bb/9 with Detroit was off the charts and unsustainable over the long haul.  His overall ceiling is limited compared to Pineda unless he can get his k/9 up into the 7.0 level or higher.  His ceiling right now looks to be a Mark Buehrle type of pitcher, while the downside is a John Garland type, and his margin of error is very thin.  His ceiling is to be decent #3 MLB starter.

Pineda- tired out in the second half as a rookie, but in fact his skills in the second half were actually improved over the first half.  He just got snakebitten by bad luck factors (increased hr/f% and strand rate of 58%), both of which are sure to regress.  Remove the bad luck factors and his ERA is 2 runs lower.  Similarly, James Shields' surface stats were awful in 2010 but his skills were actually at an elite level.  Once the bad luck factors normalized in 2011, you saw that he put up elite numbers.  In reality the indicators from both seasons were very similar.  So to point at Pineda's 2nd half is really misleading.  The fact is that what Pineda did at 22 years old, coupled with his high strikeout ability and solid command (k/bb ratio) he is on his way to be a #1 starter and Cy Young level pitcher very soon. 

There is no real comparison here.  Fister is a ham-and-egger like Rocky Balboa, while Pineda is the real deal like Apollo Creed.  And I'll tell you another thing.  If the Yankees called up the Tigers tomorrow and offered to swap these guys straight up, it would take Dave Dombrowski from one second to the next to think about it and say yes.  Hell, if Pineda needed Tommy John surgery today Dombrowski would STILL take that deal in a heartbeat. 

Put that in your pipe and smoke it. 

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:23 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

heres the real story, craig is a moron when it comes to the history of baseball.

Since: Nov 12, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:25 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Here's the real story  ...  The Yankees have only dominated baseball when lots of money was involved.

They bought  Babe Ruth   ...   won consistantly .. never before (Red Sox did) ...  made tons of money and then doninated for 40+ years.

Then the draft came in  ...   and guess what  ...   they couldn't sign EVERYBODY  ...   Gee do you remember the 1966-?? Yankees?

Then free agency came around and they have dominated (not quite as consistantly) ever since.

The Red Sox have  joined them (1967  on)   lots of money   ...  

IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY   .....    there have been a few exceptions ... 
(I.E.  Tampa Bay and the Twins are two teams that have done well with less over the years !)

...   but mostly the BIG MONEY markets
have  the advantage.  There are a lot more of them now (Texas  ..  Phil.   etc.)

Put a salary cap on baseball and the Yankees and Red Sox will still have good teams   ... but NOBODY will be able to dominate !!!!!


Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:39 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Damn bizona. Have some faith after the first submit that its gonna be there.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:59 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

God, sometimes I hate this website......not one of those hundred posts showed up as posted. Ugh.......

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:50 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

brian, if you stopped calling people names and making threats, then congratulations on two, for growing up and, two, for finally coming clean and being honest. Still can't figure out why you were even like that to begin with, but whatever.....

As for me following you here, sorry to disappoint you, but I followed redwings here, so I guess I'm trolling him. lol

As for the Yankees......admittedly, historically the greatest baseball franchise.....I hate them. lol

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