Another reason why Portland belongs in the majors

Watching Pat Neshek pitch in the All Star Game made me ponder how Michael Pineda could have changed the course of history had he grown a beard.

Pineda hasn’€™t pitched since late April when he was suspended for 10 games after not so inconspicuously hiding pine tar on his neck. While serving his time, he suffered a back strain and the ripple effect began.

At the time of his short ban, Pineda was worth 0.6 Wins Above Replacement per our friends at Fangraphs. Assuming no improvement, simply a steady hold of production, he’d be worth more than a full win to the Yankees at this point. He’d also be worth those wins to another club. Maybe a reach to assume he would be in a deadline deal, but hardly impossible.

Independent of the value of a healthy, thriving and contractually controlled Pineda, there’€™s no question that the bushy beard is the new neck. The darker the better, of course.