One of our regular offseason traditions is the Exit Interview, where we look back at each player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals in the past season. This is the 11th season we’ve done this and it’s a good way to get a view of the whole year, not just a short stretch of games. It’s sort of like a performance review before the players went off to their offseason work, spending a little time with Oli Marmol and going over what went right, what went wrong. Stats and grades are only for a player’s time in St. Louis, though splits numbers may include other teams. As always, my sincere thanks to the legend of cardinalsgifs for providing the header image!
Player: Johan Oviedo
Season stats: 2-1, 1 SVO, 3.20 ERA, 14 G, 1 GS, 25.1 IP, 26 H, 4 HR, 7 BB, 26 K, 12 IR, 6 IRS, 4.06 FIP, 1.303 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 0.3 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Statcast: .278 xwOBA, 6.2 barrel %, 87.3 exit velocity, 37.7 hard hit %, 22.3 K %, 9.5 BB %
Best Statcast category: Extension (97th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: BB % (27th percentile)
Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 1
Positives: Had seven scoreless relief outings, the longest being 2.1 innings (twice)….limited left-handers to a .195 average with no home runs….was fairly balance between home and road games….struck out 23 and walked seven in 23.1 first half innings….struck out 11 and walked just two in 8.2 July innings….finally picked up his first career win June 22 against the Brewers….had a 2.66 ERA as a reliever….allowed a .399 OPS to batters in the last third of the lineup….kept batters to a .511 OPS when he was ahead in the count….allowed a .549 OPS with nobody out….batters hit .231 with runners in scoring position….the OPS was .487 with two outs and RISP….allowed a .152/.300/.182 line in high leverage situations….had a 2.63 ERA against the Cubs….threw four scoreless innings at the Brewers.
Negatives: Won as many games (two) in his first five appearances with the Pirates as he did in his whole Cardinals career….had a 5+ ERA when receiving less than six runs of support….second and third place batters both had an OPS over 1.000 against him….hitters had an .839 OPS on the first pitch….allowed a home run to the first batter he faced twice….batters had a .907 OPS after pitch 75….struggled at Memphis, posting a 5.58 ERA over 10 starts.
Overview: Oviedo seemed to take a step forward with his consistency and command in 2022 before being part of a trade that helped remake the Cardinal rotation. His walk rate dropped three percent, his strikeout percentage jumped, and he allowed fewer barrels than before. All of this must have made him appealing to the Pirates, who grabbed him and Malcolm Nunez to cash in on their Jose Quintana lottery ticket. Surprisingly, the Pirates sent him to the minors after the deal but he returned in September as a starter and had a 3.23 ERA for Pittsburgh in that role, finishing up with his last two appearances against the Cardinals, against whom he gave up five runs (four earned) in 10 innings combined.
Outlook: Oviedo didn’t have a real good shot at the St. Louis rotation and has always wanted to be a starter, so Pittsburgh is a good place for him. With less pressure, I would expect Oviedo to be a mid-rotation starter for them and have some reasonable success. I don’t think he’s going to be a Sandy Alcantara, someone that we feel like got away, but he could have a nice solid career.