Right-hander Joel Pineiro joins fellow "low-risk, high-reward" signing Dontrelle Willis on the unemployment line as the team continues to face pressing concerns in the infield.
Pineiro, 33, went 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games with the Angels last season, signing a minor league contract with the Phillies this off-season. A former Dave Duncan project with the Cardinals, Piniero's stuff has fallen off sharply since his days in St. Louis, including his trademark sinker, and he lost his spot in the Angels rotation last season. Pineiro, whose exit might have been brought on by encouraging springs by both Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick, was perhaps the highest touted of the Phillies' swath of minor league signings, a group that includes Juan Pierre, who appears to be trailing Scott Podsednik in the fifth outfielder race. The news comes on the day when the Phillies sent Chase Utley away for treatment on his ailing knee. Rumors of the Phillies' mad scramble for infield help continue.