The Baltimore Orioles have signed veteran right-hander Joel Pineiro. The Orioles are initially sending the 33-year-old to their Triple-A rotation, but Baltimore ultimately views Pineiro as a long man for their major league pitching staff.
Pineiro signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason and it looked like he would offer the club pitching insurance for the 2012 season. However, Pineiro sustained an injury this spring and was ultimately released by the Phillies.
Baltimore has several young starters in Triple-A, but apparently would rather keep them pitching every five days in the minors rather than use them out of the bullpen at the major league level. The club will work Pineiro out of their Triple-A rotation until they deem him ready to join their ‘pen.
Pineiro struggled mightily for the Los Angeles Angels last season, posting an ERA and WHIP of 5.13 and 1.510 over his 27 appearances and 145 2/3 innings pitched.
Still, it was surprising that Pineiro was unable to land a more substantial role this offseason. The veteran had been quite effective as a member of the Cardinals and Angels in 2009-10. After maintaining a 3.49 ERA and 1.145 WHIP with St. Louis in 2009 Pineiro posted an ERA and WHIP of 3.48 and 1.241 with the Angels in 2010.
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