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Wednesday September 23, 2009 5:09 pm

Joel Pineiro gets it done




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB

Joel Pineiro

Here’s a fact you probably don’t know: Joel Pineiro is the third-best pitcher in baseball. Sitting behind dual-aces Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter on the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting pitcher depth chart, Pineiro has racked up a career year, worthy of top spot in the rotation on many other teams throughout baseball.

To this point in the season, Pineiro has a 15-11 record with a 3.24 ERA over an amazing 203 innings pitched. The only disappointing thing for those numbers is how they stack up against Wainwright and Carpenter, who each have more wins with a lower ERA. Now while his numbers do make him look like one of the best the National League has to offer, the journey for Pineiro hasn’t been easy.

He’s spent the majority of his career with the Seattle Mariners, going 58-55 while in the rainy city, then after a brief stop in Boston in 2007, Pineiro was shipped off to St. Louis where things did not improve much immediately for the right-handed hurler. 2009 has been a different story for Pineiro though. He’s had a 4-0 April, 3-0 July, and a 4-0 August. He went 12 consecutive starts without a loss, with nine quality starts mixed in. While not exactly an overpowering pitcher, Pineiro finessed his way to a 1.22 ERA in July, giving up just five earned runs in 37 innings pitched. He’s only given up more than four earned runs twice all year, so his 15 wins could easily be 20.

Here’s another fact you probably don’t know: Joel Pineiro turns 31 on Friday, 9/25/09. This guy has shown tremendous improvement since arriving in St. Louis, and at his age, it’ll only be a matter of time before he becomes the “best” third-best pitcher in baseball. In the meantime, keep an eye out for this guy when he takes the hill for the Cards in the playoffs. You’ll be glad you did.

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