The Pineda Problem

We're about eight days away from finding out if the Yankees will call-up the big, talented prospect they gave up Jesus Montero for over a year ago. But after being roughed up today in his second rehab outing in Double-A Trenton, I have to ask, should the Yankees call him up next week or send him to Scranton (although I hear Scranton ain't a bad place to live compared to the Bronx).

Of course it was just one little bump in the road. Up until this point, he's been pitching pretty well on his road to recovery.

Facing off against top Mets prospect, Noah Snydergaard, in Binghamton, Pineda failed to stand to the challenge, giving up four runs on four hits, while walking four and striking out four, throwing 67 pitches in on three innings of work.

Through the first couple months of the season, the Yankees have lived off of their pitching, but over the recent weeks, it's been known to let them down at time (as if the offense hasn't done the same).

CC has been living an on-again, off-again type season. Pettitte is showing every bit of his 40-year old wear and tear. Kuroda has been arguably the team best pitcher this season, but has only won one game over his last seven starts. Hughes is easily at risk of losing his job, whether Girardi wants to admit it or not. And Phelps has been solid, but has had a few starts this season in which he's given up a lot of runs in not a not of innings.

At this point, if there's anyone that Pineda might replace on the roster, it wouldn't be a starter, but someone in the bullpen like Nova or Adam Warren.

Although Nova's last couple outing have been pretty good, I can still imagine a scenario in which he's getting on a bus back to AAA. But then again, we haven't seen much of Warren lately, making it likely he could head back to Scranton to get some work in.

But luckily enough for the Yankees, there's no pressure to call-up Pineda now. Last season it seemed like the Yankees were the big losers of their trade with the Mariners. But now Montero is down in Triple-A fighting off some early season issues.

Brain Cashman sure does have a tough decision to make with Pineda in the next few days, and it's a decision that might not be made until the clock strikes zero on Pineda's rehab clock.

Personally, when Hughes makes his next start on Tuesday in Minnesota, the Yankees need to take a good hard look at how he pitches. If it's anything like his last outing against the Rangers, then Pineda is staying in AAA. But if he pitches like the Hughes of the past few weeks, then Cashman should give Pineda a call and congratulate him for being the newest member of the New York Yankees.

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