Folks, we need to have a serious talk about Joel Piñeiro, whom the Boston Red Sox signed, Thursday, to a one-year deal worth up to $4,000,000. You see, Piñeiro's "Suckitude," a stat measured by taking a pitcher's Suckosity and dividing it by his Suckability Factor, can only adequately be conveyed by unleashing a relentless barrage of embarrassing statistical observations that will end with a question I wish to pose to Theo Epstein.
Piñeiro, who sported a 4.67 ERA in 2004, and a 5.62 ERA in 2005, boasted (and I may have chosen the wrong word here) a 6.36 ERA in 2006. Do you see a trend over the past three seasons? Opposing batters, who hit .265 against Piñeiro in 2004, then .300 against him in 2005, enjoyed themselves to the tune of a .311 average in 2006. You may notice a pattern.
Granted, Piñeiro was not as bad in 2006 as he may have seemed to A's fans because Piñeiro was 0-5 with a 10.73 ERA against Oakland. But Piñeiro's grave (and I'm pretty sure I chose the right word here) difficulties against the A's--a low-average team that batted .400 against Piñeiro--only begins to tell this sad tale of a man who pitched 166 innings last season and struck out only 87 batters...
Piñeiro's ERA every 15 pitches looked like this:
Pitches 1-15: 6.21 ERA
Pitches 15-30: 5.16 ERA
Pitches 30-45: 6.58 ERA
Pitches 45-60: 7.15 ERA
Pitches 60-75: 7.59 ERA
Pitches 75-90: 7.40 ERA
Pitches 90-105: 3.29 ERA
So if you could somehow stomach Piñeiro's first 90 pitches, he really wasn't bad at all. Piñeiro's main problem, along with all the other ones, was that he not only let lots and lots (and lots) of people get on base, but he didn't strand them very well either. With runners on base, Piñeiro's ERA was 11.03. With runners in scoring position, his ERA was 15.67. And with 2-outs-and-runners-in-scoring-position, his ERA was 38.12. Oops.
Piñeiro did keep his pitch count low in 2006 by basically running an incentive-based program, where you had great incentive to swing. Because if you hit the first pitch, you batted .410. Why wait around?
Now if you'll forgive me for making a slight understatement, the above stats do not highly recommend a pitcher to serve as a major league closer. Which is precisely the role Boston is rumored to have in mind for Piñeiro--a guy who gives up tons of hits, especially when they could drive in runs, doesn't miss bats (and the feeling is mutual), and who only abandons his Jason Marquis imitation on about his 91st pitch.
Oh right, the question: MY GOD, THEO, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???