Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 10/24/14
There was a divide with New York Yankees fans earlier in the year when it was announced that stud hitting prospect Jesus Montero was being traded to the Mariners for Michael Pineda. While Pineda was 5th in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2011, his end of the season was less than stellar, while the call up of Montero went swimmingly well. He showed Yankee fans his quick bat speed and power and had them excited about what he could do over an entire season. But some fans were encouraged by the idea that the Yankees were getting themselves a big and tall rigthy that could really bring the the heat, and Montero wouldn’t have been anymore than a DH. The concern has grown around Pineda all of Spring Training. His velocity, which often topped out at 97 MPH last season, has rarely seen 94. Yes, it may be early, and that is what Yankees fans were told about Phil Hughes last year, and Joba Chamberlain a couple years before that, when his overpowering fastball suddenly disappeared. Pineda hasn’t been terrible, but this isn’t what you trade your top prospect for. The Yanks kept Montero out of a lot of trades for dominating, front of the rotation pitchers before letting this trade happen. Pineda should be the solid #2 and now he might not even be on the Opening Day roster. Yes, Pineda is likely to begin the year in the minors. Some will tell you that doesn’t mean it is time to panic, and they are right, but only because the Yankees have a ton of starting pitching to get the season started. But if one was to look at one spot on the Yankees roster and nitpick a glaring weakness, where would it be? Remember, this is an AL team. Which is why when people try to devalue what Montero, it is silly. The DH matters in the AL, and his bat could have been a solid addition. He could hit righties and lefties, so there wouldn’t have been a need for a platoon at the DH position. Stick him in the meat of the Yanks order and you also provide him with protection. Or, he ends up protecting someone else. Instead, you have a pitching prospect that is heading back to the minors? That looks terrible. Pineda showed up to camp about 20lbs over what the Yankees expected. Right from the get-go, the kid put himself and his job on the line. He probably thought that he was the surefire #2 when the year began, but now he may need to get ready to ride the greyhound to Scranton instead. It is hard to tell what that might do to the confidence of a guy that many believed was the next dominating power pitcher in the game. You also don’t trade one of, if not your best, prospect for a guy that you send back down to the minors. The Yanks have tried to deflect the velocity issues by saying that he has more cut on this fastball and has developed a change-up, similar excuses they gave to Hughes a year ago. Pineda’s change-up isn’t going to make much of a difference if he isn’t throwing gas like he is supposed to. Even if the Yankees keep Pineda in the rotation to being the year, the spotlight and pressure on him won’t stop. Remember, Montero was the piece that the Yankees continually refused to move, and Yankee fans have seen how easily he adapted to Major League pitching in his short stint last year. Pineda has to improve quickly, or the fans and the media are going to eat him alive in the Bronx. This may even drive Frank Costanza even more crazy than the Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps trade.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LSU fan dies at end of win over Ole Miss

Giants surge past Royals to even World Series

Mich. St. upset with Michigan over spear planted on field

TCU puts up 82 points in win over Texas Tech

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

WATCH: Kansas St. fans chant 'We own Texas!'

WATCH: Chris Fowler rips 'stupid' fans over ESPN-SEC bias

WATCH: 5-year-old fan cries over Zdeno Chara's injury

LSU knocks off No. 3 Ole Miss

Miss. St. returns onside kick for TD in win over Kentucky

Bad idea: Couple goes blackface for Ray Rice Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

PHOTO: Blue Jackets forward came real close to losing his eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

Yankees News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Fowler rips 'stupid' fans

Maddon prepared to sit out season

MSU upset with Michigan over spear

Couple in Ray Rice Blackface costume

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.