The Myth of Joel Pineiro

Dave · September 2, 2005 at 9:13 am · Filed Under Mariners 

If you’ve been following the team for the last month, I’m certain you’ve heard about the rejuvenated Joel Pineiro. He’s finally getting healthy, he’s changed his delivery, he’s throwing the sharp curve more often, etc… You can even read about it in the P-I this morning. Jon Paul Morosi, who we like and is generally insightful, tosses out this little paragraph in the game recap:

Since (August 1st), however, Pineiro has pitched quite well. Take away his ghastly game in Minnesota on Aug. 21, in which he allowed eight runs and a career-high 13 hits, and he has a 2-1 record and 2.86 ERA since the start of August — which happens to correlate with the point Hernandez arrived and began pitching the day before each of his starts.

He even gives us a new reason for Joel’s resurgence; Felix is in town, so now Joel has someone to challenge himself against. So, we can add that to the list of theories for why Good Joel has returned.

Here’s the problem, though. Good Joel hasn’t returned. People are saying Joel is back. People are wrong.

Here’s a look at what most people remember as Good Pineiro, his 2002 season:

194 IP, 189 H, 24 HR, 54 BB, 136 K, 3.24 ERA

Now, here’s a closer look at 2002 Pineiro’s peripherals:

Walks – 7 percent of batters faced
Strikeouts – 17 percent of batters faced
Home Runs – 11 percent of fly balls allowed left the yard
G/F – 1.28
WHIP – 1.24
Pitches Per Batter Faced – 3.80
Fielding Independant ERA – 4.24

Those numbers aren’t bad, but they’re not spectacular, either.

Now, let’s look at his last six starts, you know, since the hands went up and Felix started pushing him and his stuff started coming back and all that.

41 1/3 IP, 46 H, 4 HR, 7 BB, 24 K, 4.13 ERA

Not a bad line, but not super revealing either. Let’s look closer.

Walks – 4 percent of batters faced
Strikeouts – 14 percent of batters faced
Home Runs- 7.6 percent of fly balls allowed left the yard
G/F – 1.12
WHIP – 1.28
Pitches Per Batter Faced – 3.54
Fielding Indpendant ERA -4.82

Last Six Start Pineiro isn’t even the same pitcher type as 2002 Pineiro. He cut his walkrate almost in half at the expense of his strikeout rate, and more of his flyballs are being caught by the outfielders instead of clearing the wall. Most research shows that isn’t a repeatable skill, though, so don’t get too caught up in believing that because Pineiro has allowed 4 homers when we’d expect him to allow 5 that he’s made some kind of step forward.

So, what we basically have had since August 1st is a strike-throwing machine who lets his defense do almost all of the work. In fact, if you want to compare Last Six Start Pineiro to a Mariner starter, here’s one that works pretty well: 2004 Ryan Franklin. Franklin’s peripherals from last year are pretty darn close to what we’ve seen Pineiro put up in the last 6 starts. And, well, Ryan Franklin wasn’t exactly a good pitcher last year.

Joel Pineiro hasn’t had any kind of revitalization. He has not been reborn, and he’s not on the verge of posting another year with 200 innings and an ERA in the low 3.00 range. If Pineiro continues to throw like we have seen the last six starts, we’ll have a $6 million contact pitcher who will look like he’s pitching well when the balls are getting hit to the fielders and will endure several games like that Minnesota start a few weeks ago. All in all, it’s not a very good pitcher. Joel Pineiro is not a very good pitcher.


61 Responses to “The Myth of Joel Pineiro”

  1. msb on September 2nd, 2005 6:42 pm

    speaking of wanting to cry– Matt Morrison is interviewing Rex Hudler.

  2. The H-Man on September 2nd, 2005 7:14 pm

    Wooo! Scoring in the 1st inning!

  3. RickL on September 2nd, 2005 7:15 pm

    Where the F is tonight’s game thread?

  4. The H-Man on September 2nd, 2005 7:16 pm

    Good question…it is friday night I suppose.

  5. RickL on September 2nd, 2005 7:22 pm

    54. And Labor day weekend.

  6. RickL on September 2nd, 2005 7:22 pm

    The game thread is up now

  7. JMB on September 2nd, 2005 7:26 pm

    Sorry guys. I was watching Sin City until just now.

  8. Smegmalicious on September 2nd, 2005 7:30 pm

    Oh man, that movie rules! I can’t wait for the director’s cut DVD with all of the extra scenes.

  9. RickL on September 2nd, 2005 7:39 pm

    I think your animosity to Piniero has clouded your judgment. Based on the stats you put up, Piniero is as good as in his best year. I think he should be back next year. Then we will have Felix, Jamie, Joel, Harris, and god knows who. Hopefully a decent free agent. Maybe Foppert. Maybe Madritch. Maybe even Meche. You will note I don’t mention he who must not be named.

  10. JMB on September 2nd, 2005 7:47 pm

    Oh man, that movie rules! I can’t wait for the director’s cut DVD with all of the extra scenes.

    Yeah, I just read that they filmed each story completely, then went back and cut for time considerations. There must be a ton of extra material.

  11. Scraps on September 3rd, 2005 9:53 am

    I think maybe you guys need to add a line to the comment guidelines about accusing people of criticising players out of “animosity” or “hostility” or “dislike” or “hate”.