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?
Comments

Since: Jan 29, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:47 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Tampa, good pitching but they can't hit enough to keep up with the rest of the AL East much less the average teams in MLB.


lol is this a serious comment? Every year they predict the AL East to be a two team race, and every year its not. The Rays will compete for the AL East title just fine, because their offense is getting better and they have the best pitching in the AL.




Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

If the Yankees can score runs?  Never been an issue since the lean years of the mid 60's to the mid 70's.  Pineda just the type of deal I would expect Cashman to make and really shores up an average SP Rotation and makes it as good as anybodys in MLB outside of Philly.  Rothschild teaching the kids and getting into Burnetts head will pay huge dividends.  A healthy ARod, Tex and Swish hitting a little higher average and not chasing pitches out of the zone and the Yankees may average 6 or 7 runs a game.  Thats plenty of run support even for Colon and Burnett.  The Yankees a very strong up the middle with Martin, SP's, Jeter, Cano and Granderson.  Granted Jeter has lost a couple of steps but positions himself to make plays and that comes from experience and knowledge which can't be taught.  I expect some noise out of Boston and love Bobby Valentine but the bullpen in Beantown is really suspect with Pappelbon gone.  Tampa, good pitching but they can't hit enough to keep up with the rest of the AL East much less the average teams in MLB.  The Yankees close it out early this year not the last day of the season.  Too much pride and talent and 28 is a nice even number.


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:07 pm
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Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I look forward to a second Yankees-phillies WS , if the Phillies even make the playoffs. With the BEST STAFF IN MLB they missed it last year, o, yess it was the  offense's fault. Supposed a good pitcher shuts down a good offense and yall got the best staff in MLB, how come THEY SHUT DOWN YOUR OFFENSE????
I look fortward to the Yankees sweeping them in the series this year.



Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:57 pm
 

Is it April yet?

Sabathia, Nova, Pineda, Kuroda, AJ Burnett, Hughes, Garcia (not bad fill in players)
Mariano, Soriano, Robertson, Chamberlain, Logan... #1 BP

Texeira - Best 1B defensively and top 5 HR/RBI producer. MVP type player
Cano - Top 2 or 3 2B defensivley and offensivley. MVP type player
Jeter - SS Still a great clutch hitter and Captain
A-ROD - 3B Better than average defensively and can still put up numbers
Gardner - LF Fast as hell. Young and still learning
Granderson - CF Fast as hell. Great CF with speed/power. MVP type player
Swisher - RF Better than average switch hitter. Defense not so great an arm
Martin - C Average hitter. Great catcher
 
2011 they started the season with a really shaky starting rotation and still won the AL East convincingly. That includes losing Joba for the year. If NY can stay healthy, we should take the East again by 10-15 games.



Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:57 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Pineda's the real deal.  He faded down the stretch? 
I agree that he could become a good Pitcher for the Yankees, but first I would have to see that he can Pitch good away from Safeco Field. before I will start thinking that he is the real deal



Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:56 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

hey greenmonster, how many times you been hit in the head with a ball?



Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:47 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

sorry to burst your bubble ,zippy, but CJ wilson reminds me of Carl Pavano, 1 good year and they an ace. Erwin Santan is your version of AJ Burnett.If you thionk yall are getting to the playoffs this year, get off the wacky weed and get back to reality



Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:45 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Its sad that with those long term expensives contracts A rod, Tex and Swisher cannot be traded, these players really choke in playoff
I could see why you would like to dump A-Rod since he seem to be going down hill fast, but Swisher and Tex played good for most of the season.

The only everyday players that did well in the playoffs was Cano, Posada and gardner, Oh sure that A-Rod, Tex and Swisher should had played better but you can say the same thing about Jeter and Granderson.


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