New York Yankees: Is It Too Early to Label Michael Pineda Trade a Bust?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IAugust 21, 2012

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 10:  Starting pitcher Michael Pineda #36 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning to Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals at Safeco Field on September 10, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Royals defeated the Mariners 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

A lot of people had a bad taste in their mouths after Michael Pineda was forced to miss the entire 2012 season due to an anterior labral tear in his shoulder.

The bad taste was because the New York Yankees traded away their top hitting prospect, Jesus Montero, back in January and because of the season-ending injury, many people felt the Yankees got screwed over by the Seattle Mariners.

All signs were pointing toward a successful recovery with Pineda getting ready for the 2013 season, but on Monday, the 23-year-old hit a major snag in his road back.

Pineda was arrested for a DUI down in Tampa after he was caught speeding and swerving in his SUV around 2:35 a.m. ET, according to Dan Mangan of The New York Post.

Pineda was released on a $500 bond, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman refused to comment on the Pineda situation.

His "no comment" to me means that Cashman is extremely angry over this, because he made a major investment to trade for Pineda and gave up one of his best prospects.

The first sign of trouble with Pineda came when he showed up to spring training overweight, which caused him to be ineffective, and some even felt that Pineda could start out the 2012 season down in the minors because he was pitching so poorly.

It never got to that point, as Pineda was shut down after the tear in his shoulder was discovered, which required surgery and forced Pineda out for the season.

The Yankees had Andy Pettitte preparing in the minor leagues, so they didn't feel the pressure or need to have Pineda now, but they could had him healed up and ready to go in the future.

But now, this arrest is not good and it really makes the Yankees organization, and Pineda himself, look bad.

Fellow Yankees columnist Michael Moraitis wrote on Monday about how he thinks Pineda is set up to be a failure in the Bronx.

Given what has happened with Pineda—by showing up overweight to camp, having a tear in his shoulder and now this DUI while rehabbing—his tenure with the Yankees has gotten off to a terrible start.

And now I am going to pose the question: Is the trade for Pineda a bust?

Is it too soon to consider it a bust? Because I know a lot of people are going to start labeling it as that now, especially after this recent news of the arrest.

Now, I know it's still very early with the trade for Pineda, but if this is a sign of things to come, then it's not unfair to start wondering if this was a bust of a trade.

In 2011, Pineda was an American League All-Star with a bright future, throwing 173 strikeouts in 170 innings in 28 starts for Seattle.

The Yankees thought they were getting a young, strikeout pitcher who could slide into the No. 2 or No. 3 slot and continue to be the fireball pitcher he was in Seattle.

But in the seven months Pineda has been a Yankee, it's been an utter mess.

Now, Pineda could bounce back in 2013 and revert back to how he started out, but don't be surprised one bit if both Hiroki Kuroda and Pettitte are brought back for 2013 in case something like this happens again.

The 23-year-old Pineda still has time to turn himself, both professionally and personally, around, but right now, he seriously needs to get his act together for the benefit of the franchise.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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