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.