For the New York Yankees, pitcher Michael Pineda has been one of the more frustrating issues that has plagued this 2016 Yankees team. Pineda has had his great moments, well put-together innings, and good starts only to then implode with terrible starts, bad decisions, and the body language of a frustrated pitcher. With talented young pitching prospects in the minors, some would say Pineda’s future with the New York Yankees hangs in the balance.
One of the most frustrating issues with Pineda is that at times, he can look virtually unhittable. His last start against the defending champions, the Kansas City Royals, you saw the good and the bad. Between the second and sixth inning, he allowed only one hit, racking up seven strikeouts. Pineda, however, took a pounding in the first inning, which of late has become a trend for the talented pitcher. In the first inning alone for Pineda, he has an ERA of 15.43, giving up runs in the first inning in four of his last seven starts.
Unfortunately, his bad starts seem to come at the most inopportune times. The Yankees were able to take the first two games of the series against the Royals, only to have Pineda lead New York to a disappointing loss to finish the series. With a pitcher as talented as Pineda is, letting the game get away from him, kills any momentum the team had built up, and Pineda’s frustration has become obvious when games are getting away from him.
Lately it seems as if Pineda’s emotions are getting in the way of how he controls the game. Mistakes can cause distractions, leading to poor innings or worse, poor outings. Can the team rally around him and help instill more confidence, or is it too late for Pineda to turn it around?
For Pineda, who’s becoming well known for someone who’s commonly making bad decisions to find the maturity and confidence that most people feel he lacks, to make the necessary changes to his approach to pitching. Only time will tell.