A friend and I were once discussing the best way to make money by pushing a child to excel in a professional sport. We'd brainstorm different, Earl Woods-esque ways, you could push them to excel. His best idea was to turn his future son into a lefty knuckleballer. Genius idea, a true testament to American ingenuity. Identify the best potential payout - MLB starting pitcher - with a controllable variable – forced knuckleballs. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure MLB starting pitcher is the way to helicopter parent a kid to a successful sports career anymore.
The Yankees announced today that Michael Pineda would miss the 2012 season after undergoing surgery to repair a labrum tear. The surgery requires an estimated 12 months of recovery so Pineda's best case scenario is a May 2013 return. Pineda, of course, was just acquired from the Seattle Mariners, following a nice rookie season, in exchange for the Yankees slugging DH/Catcher Jesus Montero. Another example reinforcing the old adage – position player prospects are much more valuable than pitching prospects.
The argument for the Yankees side of the Pineda/Montero trade just took a seriously staggering blow. The Yankees need a standing 8 count. Late at night - with a belly full of scotch, a head full of regrets and a pillow soaked in tears - you just know Brian Cashman is quietly whispering Jesus Montero's name.
In related news Phil Hughes went 2.2 IP, giving up 4 ER, sending his season ERA to 7.88, in a 7-3 Yankees loss. Hurry back Andy Pettitte. Mike Napoli hit his 7th HR of the season in this game.
Useful Astros hitters, who'da thunk it? Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez continued their hot starts in a 7-5 Astros win over the Brewers. Altuve was 4 for 5 with 3 runs and an RBI, while Martinez was 3 for 4 with 1 run and 3 RBIs, making it 18 RBIs on the season.
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Did you read Adam's Farm Report on Jarrod Parker yesterday? If so, you wouldn't be surprised that his 2012 debut went well, with 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB and 5 K. If you didn't, well now you probably missed your chance at Parker and you only have yourself to thank. Go to your room and think about what you've done. You should also know that Oakland won 5-4, thanks to Kila Ka'aihue's 14th inning, game-winning, single. Think about that too. No dinner.
More bad injury news in Boston, Carl Crawford is heading to seek a second opinion on his elbow from Dr. James Andrews and may be out much longer than expected. As Peter Gammons tweeted, the Red Sox have more committed salary on the disabled list, 67 million, than the Tampa Bay Rays total payroll, 63 million. The Red Sox completed their sweep of the Twins with a 7-6 win. Before the game, Bobby Valentine filled out a line-up card with the assumption that Twins starter Liam Hendriks is left-handed. Since Hendriks is right-handed, he later submitted an adjusted line-up card. In a related story, the Red Sox are going to fire Bobby Valentine this summer.
Lots of good starters continued to roll on Wednesday night. Cole Hamels went 8 IP with 2 ER, 1 BB and 7 K. Jordan Zimmerman went 6IP, with 1ER, 0 BB, 6 K. CJ Wilson went 7 IP, with 2 ER, 2 BB and 11K. Jeremy Hellickson continued to defy advanced metrics with 6 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB and 5 K. RA Dickey is back on the quality start wagon thanks to, 7IP, 1 ER, 1 BB and 7 K. Lance Lynn pushed his season record to 4-0 with 8 IP, 1 ER, 2BB and 7 K.
There were signs of life from the big names in Kansas City. Pulling both their fantasy owners and Royals fans back from the ledge. Billy Butler had 2 HR and 3 RBI, Eric Hosmer had a HR and 2 RBI, and Alex Gordon had a HR and 3 RBI. All in an 8-2 Royals win.
(February 26, 2012 - Source: Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)