Considering the numbers game the Reds have for the fifth spot in the starting rotation and in the bullpen, I think this is more of a creation of the Boston media. But with Wayne K., you never know.
Scouts from several teams have been monitoring the right-hander, whose role was shifted to middle or set-up innings following Jonathan Papelbon [stats]ís recent return to closer. The Cincinnati Reds, who are leaning toward selecting Dustin Hermanson as closer from a pool of journeyman relievers, may be the best fit. Signed for only one year at $4 million (plus the possibility of an additional $2 million in incentives based on games finished), Pineiro most likely would fit into Cincinnatiís tight budget.
The right-hander was scheduled to pitch an inning in yesterdayís 12-6 win over the Florida Marlins at City of Palms Park, but was forced to throw instead on a back field after the game because of the length of starterJosh Beckett [stats]ís outing (seven innings). Brendan Donnelly (one inning, no runs) and J.C. Romero (one inning, five runs) were the only Sox relievers to see action.
Pineiro struggled with his consistency earlier this spring as he got comfortable with a new, more compact delivery, but he has pitched well lately and has tossed 8 scoreless innings over his last seven Grapefruit League appearances. Hermanson, meanwhile, signed with the Reds midway through camp but appears to have overtaken David Weathers and Mike Stanton in the Redsí battle for closer. The 34-year-old has missed significant time in three of the past five years because of injuries and was limited to only six relief appearances last season for the Chicago White Sox.