Exit Interview 2020: Johan Oviedo

After every season (dating back to 2012), we’ve spent time looking at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals that season.  They might have gotten a couple of innings, they might have played every day, but if they played, they get a post.  Usually, I like to term this like the players are packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  This year, of course, was anything but typical.  So we’ll look at every player, we’ll take in some of their stats, but we won’t be giving out grades this season or delving too much into the positive/negative.  There are just too many variables in the Year of COVID for that to be reasonable.  As he has for the past few years, cardinalsgifs has lent his enormous talents to our header image and we thank him for it!

Player: Johan Oviedo

Season stats: 0-3, 5.47 ERA, 5 G, 24.2 IP, 24 H, 3 HR, 10 BB, 16 K, 5.30 FIP, 1.378 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, -0.5 bWAR

Postseason stats: DNP

Statcast: 8.5% barrel %, 91.8 exit velocity, 51.9% hard hit %, .379 xwOBA

Best Statcast category: Fastball Velocity (77th percentile)

Worst Statcast category: Hard Hit % (1st percentile)

Hero/Goat: Hero 2, Goat 1


Overview: Writing Oviedo’s post is almost the inverse of Andrew Miller‘s.  While looking at the numbers made me wonder why I was so hard on Miller, looking at Oviedo’s surprised me given the very positive opinion I had of his work.  Of course, first impressions are key and Oviedo started out with two games of two earned runs in five innings.  Coming at a time when the rotation needed stabilizing, Oviedo looked like a great addition to the roster.  It’s probably not a surprise, given that he’d struggled at bit at Springfield last year and hadn’t had any time in AAA, that the league caught up with him.  His last start was the worst (six runs, five earned, in 5.1 innings) and in a small sample those kind of things are going to skew things.  (Don’t get me wrong–the last three starts were all kinda rough.)

There’s a lot of talent there, of course.  There’s a reason Oviedo is high up on the list of Cardinal prospects and I think he did pretty well over all.  It seemed like each start had one inning that got out of control.  Even in his last one, he gave up four runs in the first, then no more until the sixth.  It feels like he can pitch at the big league level, he just needs a little more experience and seasoning.  Nothing in 2020 dimmed his future in my book.  For him to step up into the breach and do fine was a big deal.

Outlook: If there is a regular minor league season–something still quite up in the air–I would think that Oviedo would probably start his season in Memphis given his major league exposure.  They could start him back in Springfield to let him get some success before bumping him up, but given his major league status (and his ability to go back and forth if they option him), Memphis seems more likely.  I would think Oviedo will have quite a bit of time at the bigs next year, even if it comes in fits and starts.

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