Pineiro trusts in his sinker, and in the Angels
Joel Pineiro's career statistics could make fans wonder whether the Angels paid for a career year. The Angels completed their rotation by signing Pineiro for two years and $16 million, after a season in which he went 15-12 for the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching a career-high 214 innings with a 3.49 earned-run average.
His ERAs in the previous five seasons: 5.15, 4.33, 6.36, 5.62, 4.67.
Pineiro believes he can repeat his success, thanks to a simple request from St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan last spring.
"The only big difference is, I throw my sinker most of the time," Pineiro said. "I throw my sinker 95% of the time and I get early-count outs. Everybody knows I'm not going to go out there and strike out 300 people.
"Duncan has all his guys throwing sinkers. He just said, 'I want you to trust it and throw it.' "
Pineiro's statistics last season compared favorably to those of Randy Wolf, who struck quickly this winter, signing for three years and $29 million with the Milwaukee Brewers. Adam Katz, the agent for Pineiro, interrupted a conference call and instructed Pineiro not to answer a question about which other teams made offers.
The Mets are believed to have offered Pineiro two years at $15 million. The Dodgers are believed to have offered a one-year contract.
"Did the market back up a little bit? Perhaps," Katz said. "Was it a grind? Maybe. At the end of the day, we're very excited and enthusiastic about this."
Said Pineiro: "It's a great organization, a winning organization. ... I always loved playing against the Angels. I love the city. I thought it was perfect, a great fit for me."
-- Bill Shaikin