Youthful is probably one of the main adjectives you can mention when you talk about the Pittsburgh Pirates. No one else on the big league roster embodies youth more than 22-year-old pitcher Luis Oviedo.
A native of Venezuela, Oviedo signed with the Cleveland Indians in 2015 and advanced through the Cleveland farm system as far as High-A before the Pirates selected Oviedo in the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft.
So far on the season, Oviedo has struggled with his command with 20 walks in 23.2 innings, has given up more hits than innings pitched at 28, and he’s given up 26 earned runs throughout the season.
Oviedo was one of the topics on Ben Cherington’s weekly Sunday show, and he seemed encouraged by Oviedo and had a confident feeling about the young man.
“We took him in the Rule 5 because we believe in the talent and we want to give him every chance to play with the Pirates. We’re going to continue to work with him and develop him over time,” Cherington said on Sunday
Struggling is most likely going to be a part of every major leaguer’s career, and this especially goes for a young player like Oviedo.
“There was a point about midway through the season and before the trade deadline where it was rough,” Cherington said. “Much to [Oviedo’s] credit, he just went back to work. He recommitted himself to our coaching staff and try to produce something productive during this final stretch of the season.”
In terms of seeing more of Oviedo during the season, Cherington was adamant that Oviedo and everyone else on this pitching staff will get into games and rack up more innings. After all, this season is about development.
To no one’s surprise, Cherington said that Oviedo would be worked out ultimately as a starter, and he hopes that by spring training of 2022, he will be a part of a group of young starting pitchers vying for attention and spots in the rotation.