Joel Piñeiro

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Joel Piñeiro
Joel Piñeiro on July 23, 2011.jpg
Piñeiro pitching for the Angels in 2011
Free agent
Starting pitcher
Born: (1978-09-25) September 25, 1978 (age 36)
Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 8, 2000 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through 2011 Season)
Win–loss record 104-93
Earned run average 4.41
Strikeouts 1,058

Joel Alberto Piñeiro (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈel piˈɲeiɾo], /ˈɛl pɪnˈjɛər/; born September 25, 1978) is a Puerto Rican baseball starting pitcher. He is 6'1" tall and weighs 200 pounds. He is right-handed and made his major league debut on August 8, 2000. He last played in the majors in 2011.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

Piñeiro began the 2004 baseball season as a promising starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. The previous two years he started in 60 games, won a total of 30 games, and produced a 3.52 ERA. 2004 though, turned into a dismal year with Piñeiro posting a 4.67 ERA and the first losing record of his career (6 wins – 11 loses). Piñeiro suffered another problem when he was placed on the disabled list July 27, 2004, with a sore elbow[1] and subsequently missed the remainder of the season.[2]

Piñeiro continued his struggles in 2005 and was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on May 14, 2005.[3] He returned to the majors and started in 30 total games; however he was unable to return to his previous form and posted a 5.62 ERA for the year.

In 2006, Piñeiro was pulled from the starting rotation again on August 26, and placed in the bullpen.[4] His 6.36 ERA was the highest in the major leagues.

Following the 2006 season, the Mariners declined to tender Piñeiro a contract offer, making him a free agent.[5]

Piñeiro with the Red Sox in 2007.

Boston Red Sox[edit]

On January 3, 2007, he reached an agreement for a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox,[6] where he struggled as a member of their bullpen. On July 22, he was designated for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for Jon Lester. Piniero cleared waivers and accepted an assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston's Triple-A affiliate, where he returned to the starting rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

On July 31, 2007, Piñeiro was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, with cash considerations, for a player to be named later (minor league outfielder Sean Danielson).[7][8]

In his debut start with the Cardinals on August 4 vs. the Washington Nationals, he pitched 5 innings, giving up 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 home run while taking his second loss of the year in the Cardinals 12–1 loss.

In his debut home start with the Cardinals on August 9 against the San Diego Padres, he out-pitched Chris Young, giving up only 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and earning 4 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 4.50 for the year in winning his second game with the Cardinals in their 5–0 win. For the rest of 2007, Piñeiro showed some flashes of promise but general inconsistency, finishing with a record of 6–4 and posting an earned run average of 3.96 for his new team.

2008 was a season typified by inconsistency and a trip to the DL, as Piñeiro allowed 22 HRs and 180 Hits in 148.2 IP, posting a 7–7 record and 5.15 ERA. However, leading into 2009, Piñeiro reinvented his approach, utilizing a sinking fastball to pitch to contact and concede more ground balls, while limiting the number of home runs allowed.[9] Through 25 games started, Piñeiro had only allowed 6 HRs and possessed an 84:18 K:BB ratio, with a 13–9 record and 3.11 ERA, his best season yet, since 2003.

After the 2009 season, Piñeiro filed for free agency.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim[edit]

On January 22, 2010, Piñeiro signed a 2 year, $16 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.[10]

Because of Piñeiro's volatile performance before the 2009 season, critics were split on the deal, with most wondering whether his sinkerball would continue to be effective in 2010. Taking the sinkerball as starting point, Fangraph's Dave Allen thought, "the price was solid."[11] Baseball Prospectus's Christina Kahrl pointed out the different starters that failed after leaving Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan's guiding hand. "There are so many unknowns that it makes the proposition that he'll deliver on this deal seem dubious", concluding "this just doesn't seem like it'll go well."[12] Meanwhile ESPN's Rob Neyer said quality was not so important as quantity: Piñeiro would be worth the contract if he would just pitch 200 innings per season.[13]

Philadelphia Phillies[edit]

On January 15, 2012, Piñeiro signed a minor league deal that included an invitation to Spring Training with the Philadelphia Phillies.[14] Piñeiro was released on March 19, 2012, after just six innings in Spring Training.[15]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Piñeiro signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles on April 11, 2012. Piñeiro did not pitch for their organization due to a shoulder injury.

Piñeiro re-signed with the Orioles for the 2013 season on a minor league contract.

Chicago Cubs[edit]

Piñeiro signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs on April 1, 2014.[16] On June 6, 2014, Piñeiro was released by the Cubs.

Second stint with the Angels[edit]

On June 7, 2014, Piñeiro signed a minor league deal to return to the Angels, less than a day after being released by the Cubs. He was released on June 30, 2014[17]


Piñeiro resides in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico with his wife Shirley and children Joel, Jr. (Born April 7, 2003), Juliana (born November 2, 2005), and twins Adrian & Fabian (born September 18, 2008).


External links[edit]