St. Louis Cardinals: How Soon Is to Soon for Joel Pineiro?

Michael MedearisCorrespondent IApril 19, 2008

Joel Pineiro is off to a rough start in 2008.  The Righty came back last Sunday against the Giants after being placed on the DL to open the season.

In his first outing he lasted 3.2 innings 6 earned runs on ten hits. He took the mound again today, once again against the Giants.  He pitched 6.1 innings giving up three runs on eight hits.

So in two games he has thrown 10 innings giving up nine runs on 18 hits.  His ERA is just over eight and not looking like there could be any improvement any time soon.  

With Mulder approaching a return the question is how long do the cardinals wait? Or do they let Pineiro keep going to try to get out of his funk.  

The initial idea was for Wellemeyer to return to the bullpen when Mulder returns. But if Pineiro is still struggling, does Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa move Pineiro to the pen and let Wellemeyer, who is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 26 strikeouts, stay in the rotation. 

So the biggest question for the cardinals is Mulder takes longer to return and Pineiro is still struggling, what do they do with him?

The cardinal manager may have a big decision to make sooner rather than later, because with the cardinals as hot as they are they don't need someone putting a damper on there start to the season