Next Wednesday, January 18, Michael Pineda turns 28. He got an early birthday present when his salary got bumped up from $4.3 million last year to $7.4 million this year.
You can say he didn’t earn it. In 2016, he was 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA. ERA+ 90. The year before, 12-10, 4.37. ERA+ 93. An average ERA+ is 100. So in the last two seasons, 18-22, 4.60, ERA+ 91. An average of 9-11 a year. Or….. Below average.
And…..that’s one hefty raise for only six wins and an ERA of almost five.
With the Yankees’ rotation being very shaky behind Tanaka (and Pineda being a big part of that), it’s time for Pineda to earn his money. If the Yankees are going to compete in 2017, Pineda must stop being an enigma and start to realize and show the talent he has.
With Pineda it doesn’t seem to be about the arm, but what’s between his ears. (The Pine-tar on the neck, for instance?).
He’s won 10 or more games in a season just once. He is 32-37, 3.99 in his career, ERA+ 101.
He’s a free agent after the 2017 season. It’s time for him to earn his keep. Not just for the 2017 Yankees, but for his own pocketbook for 2018 and beyond.