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Is Converting Johan Oviedo to Starter the Right Choice? (+)

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Johan Oviedo

During MLB’s trade deadline and the buildup last week, Pittsburgh Pirates fans wondered who they would get for certain inevitable trade candidates, like Jose Quintana.

In a bit of a surprising move, the Pirates traded Quintana, the veteran left-hander, and reliever Chris Stratton to the St. Louis Cardinals for a prospect and a major league pitcher — corner infielder Malcom Nunez and right-hander Johan Oviedo.

Although Nuñez is an interesting prospect, Oviedo is closer to major league-ready as he already had experience in the big leagues with the Cardinals.

The six-foot-five Cuban native signed with the Cardinals back in July 2016 and made his major league debut in August 2020.

Oviedo offers a basic four-pitch mix with a four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. He sticks heavily to the four-seam/slider combo with around 43% usage rate on both.

Looking purely at the heat map of his pitches, Oviedo seems to have a good feel for his slider, with the majority of the pitches thrown on the bottom third of the plate and away from right-handed batters.

One of the more pressing questions with Oviedo is whether to use him as a starter or reliever.

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