Along with hitting the human road-block otherwise known as Yu Darvish, the New York Yankees once ultra-promising 2012 took several more steps backwards with the devastating news that prized acquisition Michael Pineda is done for the rest of the year because of a shoulder injury. Pineda was meant to be the Yanks number two starter and was the prized off-season pickup of the organization.
Making the news even more soul destroying for the Yankees is the fact that they gave up uber-prospect Jesus Montero to get Pineda. Montero, a young basher with terrific natural power off his bat, was wildly popular amongst Yankee fans, who will now openly question New York's decision to let him go for, essentially, a broken down car.
The margins between success and failure in sports are wafer thin. As the current MLB season got started, the Yankees looked like real candidates for the World Series, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman looked like a gambling genius, with the potential strength of the Yankees pitching rotation, Suddenly, Hideki Kuroda, another one of Cashman's 'tweaks', is leaking losses like a sinking ship and the Yankees are looking around for scraps off the free agent market to boost the back-end of their rotation.
Of course, as the saying goes, hindsight is 20-20, however you do have to wonder, was Cashman gambling too eagerly not only with the Yankees present, but also their future? On one hand, he had a young, healthy slugger with a sky-is-the-limit potential ceiling. On the other, there was Pineda, who's velocity dropped dramatically in the second half of 2011, and who only managed a 9-10 record last year despite all the hype.
The warning signs were there early. Cashman must have been sweating profusely the moment Pineda turned up for Spring training 20lbs heavier than his rookie season. Giving up Montero, an absolute potential monster slugger by all accounts, for an overweight, rookie pitcher with a losing record, a rapidly increasing ERA in the second half of '11, coupled with a rapidly decreasing velocity on his pitches, is a move that is in danger of placing a serious question mark over a once promising looking season for the Bronx Bombers.
There are Yankee fans all over the world facing a restless sleep full of nightmares involving Yu Darvish's mullet and Pineda's dodgy shoulder.
Just like that, the once glowing looking Yankees 2012 suddenly looks considerably