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Orioles sign sinkerballer Joel Pineiro

Apr 11, 2012, 6:28 PM EDT

Joel Pineiro Getty Images

The Orioles added some additional pitching depth Wednesday, signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract.

He’ll pitch out of the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk initially.

There was shockingly little interest in Pineiro over the winter, and he ended up signing a minor league deal with the Phillies even though it was obvious they had no room for him. He was cut after allowing five runs — three earned — in six innings this spring.

While Pinero struggled to a 5.13 ERA in 24 starts and three relief appearances for the Angels last season, he did finish with a 3.49 ERA for the Cardinals in 2009 and a 3.84 ERA for the Angels in 2010. His ability to get groundballs could make him pretty useful to the Orioles, perhaps in a middle relief role at first.

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