Pining For Pineiro: Ex-Cardinal Off to a Brilliant Start This Season


Please come back to us, Jo-El! - COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG
  • Please come back to us, Jo-El!
I don't know if anyone else has been following the performance of one Joel "El Pinata" Pineiro since he left the Cardinals this past offseason, but I have. Not out of some sort of masochistic impulse to see the Cards' moves turn out badly and self-flagellate, mind you. No, I only follow the performance of ex-Cardinals out of an interest in, um, let's see...informing readers? Yeah, that'll work. That sounds perfectly fine. 

So how has old Jo-El been doing since jumping over to the Angels' ship? I'll warn you now: unless you happen to be the masochistic knowledge-hungry type, you may want to just give this one a miss. 

In his first start of the year for the Halos, Pineiro was a little shaky facing the Minnesota Twins, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. Since then, however, he's looked eerily like the ace impersonator he was with the Cards last season. 

On the 14th of April, Joel threw seven brilliant innings at Yankee Stadium, giving up only a single run on five hits, striking out seven while not issuing a single walk. Then, just last night, he shut out the Tigers over seven and a third, giving up nine hits but again walking no one and striking out four. 

His line for the year looks like this: 2-1, 1.77 ERA, a 13/3 K/BB ratio over 20.1 innings, and just one home run allowed on the season. He's currently sporting a 232 ERA+ and a 2.94 FIP. So, you know, not too bad. 

It does help take some of the sting out of Pineiro's continued excellence that the man brought in to replace him, Brad Penny, is actually pitching even better, with a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings, and Jaime Garcia is doing a passable Doc Gooden rookie impression, with a 0.69 ERA of his own. (That's a 637 ERA+ for those of you keeping score at home.) So it isn't as if the Cardinals are exactly hurting for pitching at the moment. 

What looking at Pineiro's numbers does do, though, is give us yet another chance to lament the ill-conceived Kyle Lohse contract, which is really the singular reason there was no chance for the Cardinals to resign Pineiro after his rebirth as a sinkerball genius. (For the record, yes, I will also complain about the Kyle Lohse deal when Brad Penny leaves after finishing sixth in the Cy Young voting this season. Just so you know.) I'll admit it still feels strange to actually be pining for Joel Pineiro, but that's where we are these days. 

Okay, now let's see... What other wounds can I pour salt into? Oh, yeah! Hey, did anyone happen to notice who's starting for the Diamondbacks tonight against Kyle Lohse? 

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