The Philadelphia Phillies won't be in on resigning Roy Oswalt, but they got a pretty decent bounceback candidate from the St. Louis Cardinals' old pitching workshop Sunday, grabbing Joel Pineiro on a minor league contract. Pineiro's unlikely to crack the rotation out of Spring Training, but Dave Duncan's most incredible walk-stopping reclamation project is coming off one decent season and one poor follow-up since his absurd 2009 in St. Louis; his cratered strikeout rate is a legitimate concern, but as free depth you can do considerably worse.â†µ
And as a chance to reminisce about one of Duncan's greatest hits, we can do much worse. Pineiro walked 1.1 batters per nine innings in 2009, in the process of pitching 214 entirely unexpected innings as the Cardinals' borderline third ace, after a year in which his contract extension was routinely and deservedly mocked.
In this case Duncan's teachings earned Pineiro a cool $16 million before he was returned to the minor league contract wasteland. Not so bad.