35-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Oscar Villarreal in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Oscar Villarreal Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox in December 2012.
Villarreal was released by the Red Sox on Wednesday.
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Oscar Villarreal Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Oscar Villarreal: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Oscar Villarreal.
After toying with the idea of converting him to a starter in 2006, the Braves kept Villarreal in a middle relief role last season and he started strong with a 3.78 ERA and 44:17 K:BB ratio before the All-Star break. But he ran out of gas in the second half with a 5.02 ERA and 14:15 K:BB ratio. There's not a lot to get excited about with Villarreal as he doesn't strike out enough batters to become a dominant reliever nor does he have good enough control to thrive as a starter. However, he could become a primary set-up man to Jose Valverde after being traded to the Astros.
Villarreal revived his career last season after he struggled in 2005 with a strained rotator cuff. He started out strong with seven wins as the primary set-up man for the Braves, but in the second half Atlanta experimented with him in the rotation and he posted a 3.50 ERA in four starts. His role for 2007 is unclear as he could be given a shot as the fifth starter or used in middle relief. Despite his 3.61 ERA, his strikeout rate fell dramatically as he struck out just 5.4 batters per nine innings compared to 7.1 batters over his last three seasons in Arizona. He also allowed a career-high 13 home runs. Proceed with caution if he wins any sizable role as a result.
Villarreal missed most of last year with a rotator cuff strain. The Diamondbacks admitted late last year that perhaps trying to make a starter out of him was a mistake. We'll see if the Braves will give him a chance to claim a role in the bullpen this spring. He was a monster in a set-up role in 2003, so if he's finally healthy, he'd make an impact.
Villarreal missed nearly the entire season due to injury before having nerve transposition surgery in his forearm and a bone spur removed from his elbow in August. He should be healthy going into spring training where the D-Backs will probably slot him back into the set-up role he performed so well in during 2003. If the team can actually hit, that could lead to some vulture win potential.
Villarreal came out of nowhere to knock John Patterson out of the Arizona rotation at the very end of spring training. After one start he was moved to the bullpen, where he then kicked butt all year (10 wins, 80 Ks in 86 games). He'll be one of the leading candidates in the race for the last two spots in Arizona's rotation this year, and the only real question is how effective Villarreal will be the second and third time around a major league batting order.
Villareal went 9-6, 3.88 in 22 starts in 2002 split between Double-A and Triple-A in the Arizona chain. He actually started out like a house afire, but a broken thumb then derailed Villareal in May, which cost him a month. He turned just 21 in the offseason and is considered one of a bunch of starting pitchers with potential in Arizona's high minors. He might make his MLB debut in 2003, either with the D-Backs or, more likely, whoever they trade him to in exchange for a vet in a deadline deal; those in keeper leagues should take note.