Thursday, January 21, 2010

Joel Pineiro 2010

Joel Pineiro was a different pitcher in 2009 than the rest of his career. That's a good thing. He went from a low strikeout pitcher with ok control and a pretty good groundball rate to a lower strikeout pitcher with GREAT control and a GREAT groundball rate. That transformation cut more than half a run from his xFIP. If he had improved in only one category, I would be questioning whether their was a real change in ability, or whether 2009 was a fluke. However, when there are substantial changes in all peripheral stats, it's a pretty good indication that something in his approach changed, or he started using a new pitch. I haven't done the Pitch/fx research to see if it backs that theory up, but I'd be very surprised if that isn't the case here. Given that, I think the best guess for Pineiro's 2010 season is more of the same. Maybe a little bit of regression to the mean in his walk rate and groundball rate, but not too much. In addition, his signing with the Angels means that he'll be suffering the effects of moving from the National League to the American League, which typically results in a lower strikeout rate. So overall, I expect Pineiro not to quite match his 2009 performance, but a walk rate below 2.0 and a groundball rate above 55% should still make him effective. Look for plenty of wins and a respectable (low 4s) ERA, but a mediocre WHIP and few strikeouts.


Dr. Horrible said...

You're forgetting one thing: Dave Duncan.

Duncan, the Cardinal pitching coach, has shown the ability to rescue mediocre vets off the trash heap and turn them into top-notch pitchers. It's happened far too often to be coincidence.

Since Pineiro will no longer have Duncan around, I'd expect a sizable decline to his career median. Perhaps not as steep as Jeff Weaver's after leaving St. Louis, but I wouldn't touch him outside a deep AL-only league.

DrBGiantsfan said...

Yeah, color me skeptical too. Sinkers are very balky things. All it takes is a slight flaw and suddenly they aren't sinking so much anymore. That, combined with the natural tendency toward regression from an outlier year and you have a very risky situation. It's not like Piniero all that as a fantasy value anyway given the low K rates. I'd stay away from him except in the deepest leagues.

Fantasy Alpha said...

Agree with Doc Horrible. Without Duncan to impose the down, down, downregime, I wonder if Piniero will stay on track.

More importantly, wh didn't the Mets use the Molina money to top the Angels offer?