Right-hander Joel Piñeiro has signed a minor league contract with the Phillies which includes an invitation to major league spring training, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced.

Piñeiro, 33, went 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games (24 starts) for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last year.  In 20 of those starts, he was 7-4 with a 3.84 ERA.  Piñeiro tied for the ninth-most ground-ball double-plays (23) among American League starting pitchers.

In 335 career major league games (263 starts), Piñeiro has gone 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA and 15 complete games for the Seattle Mariners (2000-06), Boston Red Sox (2007), St. Louis Cardinals (2007-09) and the Angels (2010-11).

 Piñeiro is the 16th non-roster invitee to major league spring training for the Phillies.

Our Take:  Piñeiro adds depth to the Phillies spring training rotation, but he has a shot to make the team.  Pineiro will make for a great fallback in case Joe Blanton or Vance Worley takes a step back this spring.  While he did not have a good 2011 campaign, primarily used as a starter, he is a sinkerballer who could help in the middle innings coming out of the bullpen. 

My guess is that he will start the year in Lehigh Valley to be stretched out in case there is an injury to the Phillies rotation.  It will also allow him to be ready for the call if a bullpen arm is needed.  Piñeiro has appeared in 72 games out of the bullpen during his career and is 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.374 WHIP. 

He is a perfect 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 12 innings when pitching at Citizens Bank Park.