Veteran right-hander Michael Pineda has reached a one-year deal with the Tigers, a source told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi on Friday night. The club has not confirmed the news.
Pineda is coming off a solid age-32 season with the Twins. He missed some time due to injury — including right elbow inflammation and a left oblique strain — but posted a 3.62 ERA (117 ERA+) over 22 games (21 starts). Pineda allowed no more than two earned runs in 15 of those starts.
The 6-foot-7, 280-pound right-hander has a power pitcher’s frame, but his repertoire and style don’t necessarily match his size. Pineda’s four-seam fastball averaged only 90.6 mph in 2021 — down from 92.1 mph in ‘20 — and he doesn’t miss many bats, resulting in a 19th-percentile strikeout rate.
Where Pineda does excel is in avoiding walks. His 4.6% walk rate in 2021 tied for the sixth lowest among pitchers with 100-plus innings, and that’s only slightly below his career rate of 5.3%. One key for Pineda is his consistently high chase rate, as his ability to get batters to go after his slider and changeup out of the strike zone keeps his free passes to a minimum.
Originally signed by the Mariners out of the Dominican Republic in 2005, Pineda was traded to the Yankees after making the All-Star team as a rookie in ‘11. He’s been an above-average pitcher over the course of his career (105 ERA+, including 116 since 2019), but staying on the mound has been an issue. Pineda has missed three full seasons due to arm problems (2012-13, ‘18) and also served a 60-game suspension in 2019-20 for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.