The righthander missed a third of the season last year with a strain to the ribcage muscles. The injury makes the predicted demise of anti-ace Scott Kazmir all the more unlikely for the Halos. There are three obvious candidates to replace Pineiro in the rotation, none of them all that great:
•Matt Palmer ... winner of 11 games in 2009, Palmer has pitched more like the guy who got released by the Giants in 2008 this spring. Maybe knowing he won't be working in Salt Lake in April will be motivation enough
•Trevor Bell ... as adequate as a replacement arm as the club has, the young pitcher has had some arm issues that might make him a candidate to avoid AAA because of the DL than because he is in Anaheim.
•Hisanori Takahashi ... Although this would leave the Angels bullpen without a lefthhander as Scott Downs is on the Disabled List, this may be the best option if Pineiro is shelved for more than a few starts, as that is what it will take to stretch He-So-Tacky into starting pitching shape.