Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) walks to the dugout after he pitched the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
You might feel that it's just the Red Sox who are struck by injuries that foil the best-laid plans of the winter, but that's not true. This time around, it's the Yankees here to remind us that things don't always work out the way you want them to from the beginning. Michael Pineda, acquired this off-season in the Jesus Montero trade with the Mariners, has a torn labrum and will miss the entire 2012 campaign.
The Yankees don't believe they receive damaged goods in the deal, but rather, think Pineda tore his labrum during his extended spring training start this past Saturday. The tearing of his shoulder was the exclamation point on a spring in which Pineda struggled with his velocity, the reaction to which saw the Yankees keep him from their starting rotation, to the surprise of many fans and analysts. It turns out that their fears were justified, given this news.
The Yankees are not without additional options to start, but losing Pineda does send them to the shallower end of the talent pool should anything else go wrong. Andy Pettitte is working his way back to the majors after his brief dalliance with retirement in 2011, meaning one of Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia will now remain in the rotation, whereas previously it was thought that both hurlers were more temporary in the role.
There's also, of course, the Yankees extensive budget and farm system, and options could be created out of either of those, either through trade or promotion. Losing Pineda doesn't make the Yankees any less of a contender, even in the AL East, although it's certainly a disappointment for that organization since they acquired him for a reason.