Tag: Joel Pineiro

Better than average Joel?

Joel Pineiro has a minor league deal with the Phils and there’s a reasonable chance he’ll get some starts with the team during the 2012 season. The 33-year-old righty was solid with the Cardinals and Angels in 2009 and 2010, making 55 starts between the two teams combined and throwing to 3.64 ERA with a 1.18 ratio.

In 2011, though, he had a miserable year with the Angels and finished the season with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.51 ratio. Through 14 starts in ’11 Pineiro sported a 3.90 ERA that hid the true story. He had a 1.43 ratio to go with it, having allowed 106 hits in 90 1/3 innings. Over his last 13 appearances, ten of which were starts, things blew up as he threw to a 7.11 ERA with a 1.63 ratio. In his last 23 appearances on the season, from May 21 to the end of the year, he allowed 160 hits in 118 1/3 innings pitched.

So allowing a ton of hits in 2011 was a big part of the problem for Pineiro. But there were others. Here are his combined numbers for 2009 and 2010 and for 2011 (in 2009 he threw 214 innings with St Louis in the NL, in 2010 152 1/3 with the Angels):

IP ERA Ratio H/9 BB/9 SO/9
2009-2010 366 1/3 3.64 1.18 9.2 1.5 4.8
2011 145 2/3 5.13 1.51 11.2 2.3 3.8

And here’s what righties and lefties did against him in those two years combined and in 2011:

PA AVG OBP SLG % H % BB % SO % HR % 1B
’09-’10 vs Right 751 273 302 385 25.7 3.1 13.2 1.6 18.9
’09-’10 vs Left 748 258 295 402 24.1 5.1 13.1 1.9 15.5
’09-’10 Total 1499 265 298 393 24.9 4.1 13.1 1.7 17.2
’11 vs Right 298 299 330 448 28.2 4.4 11.4 3.0 20.1
’11 vs Left 333 322 372 474 29.4 7.5 8.4 2.1 20.4
’11 Total 631 311 352 462 28.8 6.0 9.8 2.5 20.3

It’s not on the chart above, but in both 2009 and 2010 combined and in 2011, Pineiro gave up a double or a triple to about 6.0% of the batters he faced. Just about everything else got worse in 2011. Pineiro doesn’t rack up strikeouts, even when he’s pitching well, but his strikeouts were down in ’11. He gave up way more singles, walked a lot more hitters and gave up home runs at a higher rate. The walks were up more dramatically than the hits. Compared to his ’09-’10 numbers, his walks rose at about the same rate against lefties and righties.

Important to remember is that coming into the 2009 season with the Cardinals, Pineiro hadn’t been good for a while. From 2004 to 2008, he pitched for the Mariners, Red Sox and Cardinals, throwing to a 5.34 ERA and a 1.47 ratio. Over those five seasons, he allowed way too many hits, giving up 867 in 741 2/3 innings.

From 2001 to 2003, Pineiro pitched for Seattle and allowed just 431 hits in 481 1/3 innings (8.1 hits per nine). In ’03 he was seventh in the AL in fewest hits allowed per nine at 8.16. That was the end of that, though. From 2004 to 2008, he allowed 10.5 hits per nine innings and he hasn’t allowed fewer than nine hits per nine innings in any year since 2003.

I think the other things to be wary about Pineiro’s recent history are 1) his 2010 season with the Angels wasn’t that fantastic and 2) his 2009 season with the Cardinals was pretty fantastic, but during that year he prevented walks at an outstanding rate he has never matched in his career and likely won’t ever match again.

In 2010 with the Angels, Pineiro threw to an ERA+ of 104. He allowed more than a hit per inning and his walk rate from 2009 jumped.

In 2009, Pineiro walked 27 batters in 214 innings. That’s 1.14 per nine innings and in 2009 he led the NL in the category. By a lot. Arizona’s Dan Haren was second and he allowed 1.49 walks per nine that year.

Pineiro hasn’t been in the top ten in his league in fewest walks per nine innings in any other year of his career. From the start of his career in 2000 through the end of 2008, he walked 7.2% of the batters that he faced. In 2009, he walked 3.1% of the batters he faced. He faced 445 right-handed batters that year and walked ten of them (2.2%). Over the last two years, his walk rate has been down, but nowhere near as low as it was in 2009. He’s walked about 5.7% of the batters he’s faced since the start of the 2010 season and about 4.3% of the righties.

Both sides seem to think that Hamels and the Phillies will discussed a long-term contract during spring training.

In this article, Hamels’s agent suggests that the pitcher’s next contract will reflect his eliteness. Or at least it would if that was a word. The agent also suggests that Jared Weaver left a lot of money on the table in signing his five-year, $85 million deal.

This says that Jeremy Accardo has agreed to a minor league deal with the Indians.

This suggests that Amaro said left field will be a Mayberry/Nix platoon and Brown will start the year in the minors barring a monster spring training.

This suggests that Amaro said Ty Wigginton will be the primary first baseman for the Phils while Howard is out with Thome backing him up.

Power purge, part deux

Chase Utley isn’t the only left-handed Phillie who has seen his power drop off significantly over the past two seasons. Utley and Ryan Howard will forever be linked in the minds of fans and Howard’s power is down since the start of 2010 as well.

The left-right splits on the power drop aren’t as dramatic for Howard as it was for Utley, but Howard has also seen his power against righties drop more than it has against lefties over the past two seasons.

Howard arrived in Philly during the 2004 season, getting his first plate appearance on September 1, pinch-hitting for Vicente Padilla with one out in the fifth, Marlon Byrd on first and the Phils down 5-2. Atlanta’s Jaret Wright struck him out looking. Howard got just 42 plate appearances in 2004, but was off and running in 2005. In ’05 he hit .288 with 22 homers in just 348 plate appearances as he won Rookie of the Year in the NL (despite the fact that Willy Tavares and his 291/325/341 line in Colorado managed more than 20% of the first-place votes).

Howard didn’t exactly shine against left-handed pitching in 2005, going a meager 9-for-61 against them with a 148/175/246 line and striking out in about 41.3% of his plate appearances.

If his ’05 performance elevated concerns about whether he would ever hit lefties or not, he appeared to respond in dramatic fashion in 2006. He hit a monster 279/364/558 against lefties with 16 home runs in 225 plate appearances.

That was, however, as good as it would get for Howard against lefties. In the five seasons since the end of 2005, Howard has hit better than .225 against left-handed pitching just once (.264 in 2010). Since the start of the ’06 season, Howard has gotten 1,164 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers and struck out 32.6% of the time while posting a 228/309/430 line.

It’s enough to make some people wonder if what he did against lefties in 2006 might have been a little flukey.

Back to the power, though. Utley and Howard have both seen their power drop off in 2010 and 2011. Utley’s dropoff overall for those two years has been far more dramatic against righties. Howard has also seen a bigger drop in his isolated power against righties than lefties, but without results that are quite as severe as they are for Utley.

Here’s Howard’s at-bats, average, slugging and isolated power against lefties and righties for the years 2005-2009 combined as well as 2010 and 2011 combined:

Vs Lefties Vs Righties
’05-’09 926 227 447 220 1722 307 661 354
’10-’11 363 245 424 179 744 274 532 258

First things first and the first things is this — from 2005 through 2009, Howard slugged .661 against right-handed pitching. That’s silly. In 2006, thanks in large part to his success against left-handed pitching, Howard hit 58 homers and slugged .659 for the year year overall. That’s good enough for 80th all time on the list of single season slugging percentage.

In 2010 and 2011 combined, Howard’s isolated power against lefties dropped from .220 in the ’05-’09 period to .179. His power against righties started out a lot higher, but also fell a lot more. It dropped more than twice as much, falling from .354 to .258.

Notably, Utley has posted a higher isolated power mark than Howard against left-handed pitching over the past two years. Since the start of 2010, Utley’s isolated power against lefties is .214 compared to .179 for Howard. From 2005 to 2009, Utley and Howard has similar numbers for isolated power against lefties — .220 for Howard and .216 for Utley.

Finally, Howard’s isolated power against lefties for 2011 was .124 as he hit a rather miserable 224/286/347 against left-handed pitching. His fellow Phillie, fellow lefty Raul Ibanez put up a better isolated power number of .143 in what was a horrid season with the bat for Ibanez — he hit just 211/232/353 against lefties in 2011. There were 15 left-handed batters in the NL who got at least 125 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers. Of those, Howard’s isolated power of .124 was 11th-best. In addition to Ibanez, Jay Bruce (.251), Joey Votto (.236), Brian McCann (.219), Carlos Pena (.200), Carlos Gonzalez (.177), Prince Fielder (.176), Logan Morrison (.158), Freddie Freeman (.156) and Todd Helton (.146) all topped him.

Remember the bench-clearing incident from May 24, 2007 when Willis, with the Marlins at the time, threw behind Jon Lieber? Read all about it. And here, too.

In this article, Amaro seems to suggest that the best case with Thome would have him playing first base four or five times a month. So I wouldn’t be looking for him there every day while Howard is out. Since the end of the 2006 season, Thome has made as many appearances at third base as he has at first (one). He was at third for one pitch in 2011.

This suggests that Jamie Moyer may sign a minor league deal with the Rockies.

This and this suggest the Phillies and right-handed free-agent pitcher Joel Pineiro have agreed to a minor league contract. The 33-year-old Pineiro was awful for the Angels last year, throwing to a 5.13 ERA and a 1.51 ratio over 27 appearances, 24 of which were starts. He was very good the two previous years, throwing to a 3.64 ERA with a 1.18 ratio in 55 starts with the Cardinals and Angels. Great move by the Phils.

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