I'm not a Cashman basher but I found this article very disturbing. Don't know if this has been posted before so forgive me if it has.
His record on pitchers is filled with holes. But this Pineda deal of him coming to ST 30 lbs overweight is very troubling. Where's his sense of responsibility to his team, let alone himself?And shouldn't Cashman been on top of this?
It is probably a good thing George Steinbrenner is no longer around to unleash his wrath after Brian Cashman’s latest pitching fiasco. No doubt, the Yankee GM would be only the most prominent victim, among many in the Yankee organization, once the Boss began sorting out all that went down with the Michael Pineda trade and the big righthander’s subsequent career-threatening shoulder injury.
Before we get into the degree of blame Cashman deserves for this disastrous development — in which the pitcher for whom the GM sacrificed the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, slugger Jesus Montero — know this: Steinbrenner fired general managers for far less. In 1983, then-Yankee GM Murray Cook was barred by the Boss from spring training for the first three weeks, then confined to his trailer once he got there, only to be replaced altogether at the start of the season — all for the egregious mistake of losing righthander Tim Belcher, the Yankees’ No. 1 pick in the January amateur draft, through a loophole to the Oakland A’s in the free agent compensation pool.
Poor Cook never saw that one coming — that, once he’d signed Belcher, the kid was eligible to be taken by the A’s, even though the protected lists for the free agent compensation pool had been submitted a week earlier. How could they lose a player they weren’t even able to protect? Didn’t matter. Steinbrenner blamed Cook, and from there evolved the legend of the “Murray Cook tan” — the tongue-in-cheek sobriquet in later years attributed to all of those pale-faced new arrivals from the north at spring training.
As for the Montero-Pineda situation, even though there were red flags with Pineda — his subpar second half last year (5.12 ERA), his “violent delivery” as scouts described it — Cashman had every good reason to make the deal. Montero was essentially going to be a part-time DH for the Yankees this year while the 6-7, 23-year-old Pineda projected to be a top-of-the-rotation starter.
Young pitchers with such upside almost never become available. Plus, for all the hype they placed on Montero, the Yankees never believed he’d develop into a trustworthy everyday catcher and had instead determined Austin Romine to be their heir apparent there.
But here’s where Cashman and his baseball advisers dropped the ball: Once they acquired Pineda, he suddenly became precious goods, given that they’d traded their one big chip for him and, as such, needed to be handled with care. But instead of setting up an offseason training regimen at their complex in the Dominican Republic — the domain of Steinbrenner’s son-in-law, Felix (The Gardner) Lopez, their so-called director of international relations, and senior VP of baseball operations, Mark Newman — Cashman essentially told Pineda “see you in spring training.”
And when next he did see him, the pitcher was 30 pounds overweight. The crash conditioning course that followed, at the same time Pineda was developing a changeup, conceivably contributed to the shoulder tear. All the extensive MRIs the Yankees had performed on him before he went home to the Dominican Republic for the winter showed no evidence of any shoulder damage. Making matters worse, though, is the fact that Romine has been sidelined indefinitely with what one source termed a “chronic” back injury.
So even if the trade itself cannot be considered a bad deal on Cashman’s part, the end result — from a failure of the Yankees to monitor Pineda’s offseason conditioning — only adds to the GM’s dismal legacy of pitching busts: $46 million for Kei Igawa; $40 million for Carl Pavano; $22.5 million for Steve Karsay; $17 million for Kyle Farnsworth; $8 million for Pedro Feliciano; $4.8 million for Chris Hammond; two ill-fated acquisitions of Javier Vazquez; the 2002 trade of Ted Lilly (who has since gone on to win 129 games in the big leagues) for Jeff Weaver — which later begat two years at $31.4 million for kindly Kevin Brown; the 2007 trade of Tyler Clippard (who has since established himself as an All-Star setup man) to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo.
Part of Cashman’s problem is that he and his advisers are obsessed with big, tall hard throwers, which Lilly and Clippard aren’t. But, other than Ivan Nova, whom they sent to the minors twice last year and threatened to do so again this spring, they haven’t been able to develop any into front-line major league starters. Phil Hughes continues to disappoint while Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are both struggling mightily at Triple-A.
And so, with Pineda out for the year, the Yankees now have $9 million in payroll tied up in three pitchers (Damaso Marte and Feliciano are the others) who will not throw a single pitch for them this year, while they wait for 39-year-old Andy Pettitte to save the rotation. There is, however, one potential salvation for Cashman in the Pineda trade disaster and that is 19-year-old Jose Campos, the hard-throwing Venezuelan righthander he insisted Seattle include in the deal. Campos is currently pitching lights out at low A Charleston (3-0, 1.23 ERA, 23K, 5 walks in 22 IP) and, despite his age, is likely to move up a rung or two in the organization this season. In the words of one scout who works the Venezuelan winter league extensively: “I said at the time, in my opinion, Campos was a better pitcher than Pineda. He’s just a baby, but nothing he’s done has changed my mind. I couldn’t believe Seattle gave him up.”
Still, if Steinbrenner was still around, by the time Campos ever got to the big time, Cashman likely would be consigned to a desk in the ticket operations department, working on his “Murray Cook tan.”
This is the first I'm hearing anything about weight but if its true, its BS on his part and the Yanks should penalize him for it. These guys get paid millions, the least freeking thing they can do is take care of themselves.
I agree that he should keep in shape. However, the mariners told him not to throw I. The offseason and then traded him. That speaks volumes to me. Right now it was a bad deal. We'll see how it turns out when he returns from surgery. But for the author to infer that being out of shape caused the shoulder injury is pure conjecture, completely baseless and irresponsible. If he came in to camp in shape would be have gotten the injury? Almost certainly. It's a soft tissue injury and no amount of running/weight lifting will prevent that.