Former Seattle Mariners standout and longtime big league veteran Joel Pineiro is looking to return to Major League Baseball, according to a report from MLB.com writer Jesse Sanchez.
Pineiro, who has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011 with the Angels, is on the comeback trail and is scheduled to start Tuesday for Puerto Rico’s Indios de Mayaguez against Cuba’s Villa Clara team. Tuesday’s outing might be Pineiro’s last chance to impress a big league team and earn a Spring Training invitation. It could also be the last time he ever steps onto the mound in a game.
His best season came back in 2003 with Seattle, when he posted a 14-7 record in 37 games for the Mariners, 28 of which were starts. That season, he accumulated 211 2/3 innings of work, including two shutouts. He also notched 151 strikeouts.
He last pitched in Major League Baseball in 2011, when he appeared as a member of the Angels. That year, he went 7-7, coupled with a disappointing 5.13 earned run average in 145 2/3 innings pitched. He also had a brief stint with Philadelphia during Spring Training in 2012, but he was released by the franchise shortly thereafter.
With that in mind, and a family at home, Pineiro told Sanchez that this is the last go-round.
“I have had 11 years in the big leagues, so I’m not complaining, but I’m not ready to shut it down,” he said. “I’m 35 and I told my wife this would be my last real push at it. I have four kids, my oldest is in middle school, but I still have the desire and love for the game.”
In 12 big league seasons, Pineiro appeared for Seattle, Boston, St. Louis and Los Angeles. Formerly known as a hard-throwing force, he, as noted by Sanchez, reinvented himself with the Cardinals, relying primarily on a sinking fastball for his outs.