Blue Jays radio play-by-play broadcaster Mike Wilner reported on Twitter that the club has signed pitcher Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A New Hampshire.
Pineiro, 36, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 with the Angels. He spent the 2014 season in the Cubs’ and Angels’ systems, posting a combined 5.93 ERA with a 21/11 K/BB ratio in 44 innings. He was suspended for 50 games last season after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
Joel Pineiro hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011, but he’s still giving it a go at age 35 and the right-hander has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cubs.
Pineiro had a 5.13 ERA and a miniscule strikeout rate in 146 innings for the Angels in 2011, but for the most part he was usually a decent mid-rotation starter for a decade or so. He’ll begin his comeback at Triple-A Iowa.
He pitched briefly for the Red Sox when the Cubs’ current front office was in charge in Boston, appearing in 31 games as a reliever with a 5.03 ERA in 2007.
Joel Pineiro did not pitch last season and was last seen in the Majors in 2011, but the right-hander is on the comeback trail. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that Pineiro has been pitching in Puerto Rico during the off-season and he’ll make a start against a Cuban team on Tuesday.
“I have had 11 years in the big leagues, so I’m not complaining, but I’m not ready to shut it down,” he said. “I’m 35 and I told my wife this would be my last real push at it. I have four kids, my oldest is in middle school, but I still have the desire and love for the game.”
Pineiro is now 35 years old and struggled to miss bats in his last stint in the Majors in 2011 with the Angels. However, he had two decent seasons prior to that, and it wouldn’t be unheard of if he came back with a little left in the tank. In what seems to be the year of the comeback — Mark Mulder, for example, is attempting a comeback with the Angels after a five-year layoff — now is as good a time as ever for Pineiro to revive his playing career.