Early last year, I discussed Tony Reagins’ misguided decision to sign free agent pitcher Joel Pineiro (“Angels Pay, But Don’t Learn Any Lessons” Jan 22, 2010). Pineiro was a decent 10-7, 3.84 in limited duty last year, but this season has reverted to his true form, compiling a 5-6 record and a 5.34 ERA, on the strength of a super impressive streak of six games over which he pitched 18-2/3 innings while giving up 27 earned runs, and losing his starting spot in the process. Add that to the Scott Kazmir debacle, and the Angels have the best top three starters in the American League, maybe on a par with the Phillies in all of baseball, and, in the words of CA governor Jerry Brown, “Smoke and Mirrors” in the rest of the rotation.
The result of the utter failure of Kazmir and the shoulda-seen-it-comming performance of Pineiro has been a rushed Tyler Chatwood getting a staring role, and the Garrett Richards debacle. Who knows who will be filling out the Angels’ rotation over the next six weeks.
It is a testament to the talents of Mike Scioscia, the over-powering abilities of Jared Weaver and Dan Haren, and the incredible streak of brilliance that Ervin Santana has hit, that despite this, asI I said yesterday, were it not for the Vernon Wells trade, the Angels would be in first place in the AL West.