Joel Pineiro released by Angels, suspended 50 games for stimulant

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UPDATE: In addition to pitching poorly enough to justify being released, Pineiro has been handed a 50-game suspension from MLB for “a prohibited stimulant.” Pretty safe to say his career is over.

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Joel Pineiro’s latest comeback attempt is over, as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Angels have released the veteran right-hander from Triple-A.

Pineiro was once a solid mid-rotation starter for the Mariners, Cardinals, and Angels, earning nearly $50 million over a 12-year career, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 and at age 35 he looks finished.

He had a 7.48 ERA in four starts at Triple-A for the Angels and was previously released from Double-A by the Cubs earlier this season.

Red Sox to activate Dustin Pedroia from disabled list on Friday

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Manager Alex Cora said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.

Pedroia, 34, had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee in late October. He played in only 105 games last season, batting .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 62 RBI in 463 plate appearances. His offensive stats were his worst since an abnormally-bad 2014 campaign.

The 34-15 Red Sox have baseball’s best record. Eduardo Nunez has mostly been handling second base in Pedroia’s place, hitting a disappointing .243/.261/.361 in 177 trips to the plate. He has also, by most metrics, played subpar defense at the position, so getting Pedroia back will be a boon.