Quick Hits 4/26 - Pineda & Stem Cells, Pujols, collisions and Braves wine...Michael Pineda – It seems all that fuss about Pineda’s lack of velocity this spring was warranted. I usually brush off those media reports, more often than not they are an overreaction. But it was revealed this week that Pineda has a tear in his labrum (shoulder). He’ll have surgery and be out at least 12 months. Shoulder injury recovery is so much more unpredictable as opposed to when a player has elbow surgery. On Pineda’s side is his age, at 23 he should be able to recover, but again with a shoulder you just never know. Someone asked me if stem cells were a viable option for him. My first reaction would be “no.” I’m obviously not a doctor but what I’m learning and hearing from others is that the stem cells are applicable in certain situations with no guarantees. And while I’m more than pleased with my results the studies are just not there to support stem cell use. The Yankees have to go with the somewhat sure thing in arthroscopic surgery. As an older pitcher you try and avoid shoulder surgery at all costs, Pineda’s not in that situation and as painful as it is for Yankee fans, surgery is the right choice.Pressure to live up to the contract – What’s going with Albert Pujols so far in Anaheim (.222, 0 HR, 4 RBI) has certainly surprised us all. No one doubts he’ll get it going soon and be something close to what he was all those years in St. Louis but I can’t help but wonder if he’s feeling the pressure just a little bit. From the outside when you see a guy land a mega deal like Pujols’ 10 year $240 million dollar deal you might think the pressure is off, you’re set for life and so are grandchildren’s children, but I don’t think it always works that way. Most of the guys who get to that level are ultimate competitors. The passion never ceases even when the big money is coming in. It’s completely plausible to me that Albert is a little tight right now. He wants to live up to this deal and prove he’s earned every bit of it. It reminds me when ARod signed his big contract with the Rangers. I was shocked he admitted to taking steroids after he signed his $252 million dollar contract. Before? Sure I’d get that. My thought was why bother now? You already got the money. I remember what he said to Peter Gammons: "When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day." Very telling of what can come along with the big deal. Those are the guys who make it big, but like any of us, if we put too much pressure on ourselves we can crack, struggle or even make bad decisions like taking PEDs. Pujols numbers may be off a little bit this year but he’ll be the guy everyone knows and pitchers fear for a at least a bulk of the contract. Collisions at home plate – Astros’ catcher Jason Castro took a pretty nasty hit at home against the Milwaukee Brewers this week. Mat Gamel laid into Castro on a relay throw from 1B Carlos Lee. Castro held onto the ball and Gamel was out. The play was eerily similar to what we saw with Buster Posey last year with the exception of some glaring differences.First there was no feigned outrage from the media over the collisions and no calling on the commissioner to change the rules. The reaction of course was based solely on the person it happened to and not the actual hit, which happens regularly in baseball seasons. Also I didn’t read anywhere that Astros’ GM Jeff Lunhow hoped that we never heard again from Mat Gamel, contrasting of course how the Giants’ front office unprofessionally referred to Scott Cousins. Personally I like the rule the way it is. As both a former player and a fan I enjoy that part of the game. I suspect though changes will be made in the coming years. Quick Comments•I was discouraged to read that Aubrey Huff is dealing with an anxiety issue. There’s no turning back now but I think that sort of thing should be kept private. I can’t imagine it’s any easier to deal with when the media is talking about it. Hoping his recovery goes well. •Scott Boras said LHP Mike Gonzalez would sign very soon. It was also reported the Red Sox were not interested in Gonzalez. 1) Why not? 2) Why tell people you’re not interested? If he pitches well this year and your bullpen woes continue you look really dumb. At least pretend you were interested, that way you CYA. •I get why they do it, but I often have to unfollow media members I like on Twitter because they reply to too many mentions that show up in my timeline. I think it’s a must as a writer to correspond with your followers as much as possible, just hit reply most of the time. Don’t over RT with your answer in front, I don’t like my timeline clogged up with your responses to often trivial questions. Pick your spots, a funny one or one that is useful or insightful then sure, let us all see it, otherwise keep it between you and the other guy. 90% of what you publicly respond to is not useful to the rest of us. •I follow over 1,000 people on Twitter = I want you to listen to me but I’m not interested in listening to you. •I was invited to an Atlanta Braves Alumni event yesterday where we had a meeting and played a round of golf at Bear’s Best in Suwanee, GA. I’m fortunate to be be apart of the group. I only played for the Braves briefly in 2004 but live here now and really enjoy being part of the events the Alumni put together. One of things that came up was the news that the Braves Alumni have their own wine label. Bottles will be sold exclusively at Turner Field and Coolray Field (AAA Gwinett). Don’t hold me to this but I believe the proceeds go to charity. I hear it’s pretty good. My wife and I will put it to the test soon.