Possible DL trip could delay Pineiro's first start

Possible DL trip could delay Pineiro's first start

Possible DL trip could delay Pineiro's first start
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It appears likely right-hander Joel Pineiro will make a brief appearance on the disabled list to open the season before making his first start on April 8 in the Angels' home opener against the Blue Jays, if all goes as planned.

The veteran experienced muscle soreness in his back, near his right shoulder blade, pitching on Sunday in Mesa.

"Pineiro will pitch here in a camp game on [Tuesday], and we'll see where he is," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Right now, he's questionable whether he's going to be active when we start the season.

"If he started on the DL, he'd be available on the 8th to pitch."

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If he had any say in the matter, Pineiro would try to convince his manager and pitching coach Mike Butcher that he'll be ready for a start in Kansas City or Tampa Bay in the opening week.

"I'm ready to go," Pineiro said. "I played catch yesterday and had no problems at all with it. I don't know exactly what they have in mind, but I feel fine. I'm throwing long toss today and [Friday].

"My goal is not to be on the DL."

They are not his favorite initials. An oblique strain last July 28 while he was warming up at Angel Stadium for a start against Boston sent him to the DL for almost two months, ending on Sept. 18. He made three superb starts (1.71 ERA) to finish a 10-7 season with a 3.84 ERA.

In the final year of his contract, Pineiro, 32, was having an impressive spring -- he's 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings -- when he felt the back muscle near the lattisimus dorsi tighten after throwing two innings against the Cubs in Mesa.