St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Johan Oviedo is likely to be in the long-term rotation, but he will need to cut down on walks.
On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals scraped out a second win against the lowly Diamondbacks, but scraped is the key word here.
Despite getting out to an early lead, the Diamondbacks slowly chipped away, scoring in five different innings and finishing the game down only two runs. The second grouping of the Cardinals bullpen were the ones used, but overall it wasn’t a bad night for the group. Daniel Ponce de Leon closed things out after Ryan Helsley had another rough outing. The most encouraging part of the evening was Jake Woodford’s scoreless, walk-less 2.2 innings coming in relief of the night’s starter, Johan Oviedo.
Oviedo has done a just fine job of filling in as the 6th man on the year, and last night was a microcosm of why.
Over 4.1 innings, the 6’5” right gave up two earned runs, striking out three. The issue for Oviedo was that he walked six. He was able to work around the walks, but like the rest of the staff, walks have been a consistent thing for Oviedo in the MLB this year.
After last night, Oviedo is up to 6.8 walks per nine on the year, 15 in 20.0 innings. The interesting thing is that this has been an issue only when at the MLB. At AAA Memphis, Oviedo has only thrown 8.0 innings but has walked just two.
One reason for the walks could be that Oviedo has caught whatever contagion the rest of the staff has, but it could also be the age-old issue of him not trusting his stuff. If he’s trying to be too perfect and trying to nibble, walks are just gonna happen.
Oviedo hasn’t gotten many chances, but he is still trying to be a part of the future rotation. Just like the rest of the pitching staff as a whole, Oviedo just needs to throw strikes.