Pineiro hopes solid winter leads to big league invite

Pineiro hopes solid winter leads to big league invite

ISLA DE MARGARITA, Venezuela -- Veteran starter Joel Pineiro believes he's pitched well enough this winter to earn a Spring Training invitation with a Major League club.

The free-agent right-hander just is not sure if it will happen.

"I was just focused on my game and helping Puerto Rico win," Pineiro said. "What will happen, will happen, but I think I did enough. I'm healthy and ready to compete in the big leagues."

Pineiro gave up seven hits and struck out one over 6 2/3 innings Tuesday in Puerto Rico's 2-1 loss to Cuba. He was charged with two runs, both unearned. He threw 102 pitches.

"They were super aggressive from the first pitch of the game," Pineiro said. "I had to keep the ball down, and I got a lot of ground balls. They were swinging and swinging."

Pineiro has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011 with the Angels. He underwent season-ending right labrum surgery in 2012 with Baltimore and missed all of the 2013 season while recovering. This winter, he went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings over five outings for Ponce in Puerto Rico. In his 12 Major League seasons, he is 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA in 335 games (263 starts).

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.