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2017 Yankees Season Review: Michael Pineda

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Pineda got off to a decent start this year, but his season ended up being cut short due to injury.

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Michael Pineda’s Yankees career was frustrating, to say the least. After competing for a rotation spot in 2012, Pineda started his first season with the Yankees on the disabled list. What was originally diagnosed as right shoulder tendinitis turned out to be a labrum tear in his shoulder. He had to undergo surgery and did not return to the big leagues until 2014. During his time in the Yankees’ rotation, he showed flashes of brilliance, mixed with some terrible outings and a propensity to give up dingers. The 2017 season was no different in that regard, except for the fact that his year ended early due to a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.

Pineda surrendered four runs to the Rays during his 2017 season debut, then gave up three or less runs during his next nine starts. Ignoring the fact that he also gave up nine home runs during that time, it was a decent start to the season for the right-hander. Big Mike, however, was up to his old tricks by the time June rolled around. On June 2nd, he surrendered five runs to the Blue Jays, then pitched a shut out during his next start. During his next three starts, he gave up five runs, one run, and seven runs.

On July 5th, the Blue Jays took Pineda deep three times and he left the game after just three innings. That would be Pineda’s last outing of the year, and possibly his last appearance as a Yankee. Pineda reported feeling lingering soreness after that start, and was eventually diagnosed with a partial tear in his UCL. He underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-July, and isn’t expected to be baseball-ready until 2019. Unfortunately for Pineda, he is now a free agent, so it is unlikely that he will find his way back to the Yankees when he is healthy.

Over four seasons with the Yankees, Pineda tossed 509 innings with a 4.16 ERA. With 31 wins and 31 losses, his Yankees career ends with a perfect .500 record. He struck out 514 batters, which is good for 9.1 K/9. Pineda struggled to keep the ball in the park as a Yankee (1.3 HR/9), and he was on pace to give up a career-high number of home runs this season. In fact, when his season ended, he had surrendered 20 home runs, and walked just 21 batters.

It is a shame that Pineda’s time with the Yankees had to end this way. Maybe this could have been the season that he finally put it all together. At least we’ll always have that 16-strikeout game against the Orioles to remember him by. Here’s hoping that Pineda’s recovery goes according to plan, and that he is able to find success with another team one day.