31-Year-Old Pitcher – Tampa Bay Rays
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Oviedo landed a major league deal with the Rays, despite not pitching in any games for the team last season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Still, the guaranteed commitment to the artist form...
Juan Oviedo Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Rays in November 2013. Deal also includes up to $1.4 million in incentives.
Oviedo (elbow) has been throwing regularly while awaiting clearance for his visa, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Juan Oviedo Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Tampa Bay Rays Roster
MajorsArcher, Chris (P)
AAAAndriese, Matt (P)
AABrett, Ryan (2B)
A+Bailey, Luke (C)
AAmes, Jeff (P)
RookieCiuffo, Nick (C)
Career Pitcher vs. Batter Stats (View All Matchup Data)
Worst Matchups for Juan Oviedo (by OPS against, min 4 AB)
Best Matchups for Juan Oviedo (by OPS against, min 4 AB)
Juan Oviedo: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez made his return to baseball last summer following an eight-week suspension, but his comeback bid was cut short after three minor league appearances due to a torn UCL in his right elbow. The former Marlins closer underwent Tommy John surgery in September and is not likely to return until late 2013. Given his age and recent history, Oviedo will likely have to make good on a low-risk deal before pushing his way back toward a big league bullpen in 2014.
The saddest part about the saga of the former Leo Nunez might be that he lied about his identity and possibly derailed his career just so he could claim to be a single year younger. "Leo Nunez" was signed as an 18-year-old; if Juan Oviedo had been signed as a 19-year-old instead, it likely would have made no difference whatsoever to the path his career took up until last season. The Marlins say they're willing to bring him back to set up Heath Bell, but if he gets denied a work visa the Marlins' wishes are a moot point. If he's able to pitch in 2012, he has the velocity (94 mpg average fastball) to become an effective set-up man, although his declining strikeout rate last season (to 7.7 K/9IP from 9.8 K/9IP in 2010) is a concern.
Nunez had a better season than he did in 2009 by most measures - more saves, better ERA and K/9IP, lower HR/9IP - but somehow lost manager Edwin Rodriguez's confidence along the way. Part of Rodriguez's issue with Nunez was his increasing reliance on his changeup, as Nunez has essentially ditched his slider in Florida and become a two-pitch reliever. Given Clay Hensley's emergence and all the young power bullpen arms the Marlins have accumulated, Nunez is on very shaky ground when it comes to ninth-inning duty, but he should still be considered the marginal favorite for the closer job simply because he's the guy with the track record.
Nunez took over as the Marlins' closer after Matt Lindstrom hit the DL and quickly got comfortable in the role, converting 26-of-33 save chances with solid, but not great, ratios. His stuff is probably better suited for setup duty, and the Marlins have a history of not sticking with a closer for too long, but Nunez will enter 2010 with a lock on the job.
Nunez was the Royals' go-to right handed reliever in 2008 after failing to make the rotation out of camp. He can touch 97 mph with his fastball, but is more comfortable around 93-94. He also has a delivery that fools right-handed batters (they hit just .230/.384/.290 off him last year). He is not a big strikeout guy, and allows a few too many flyballs, but he should serve as a set-up guy in Florida, where he may eventually receive consideration for the closer's role depending on how things play out for the Marlins.
Nunez rallied a couple off a couple decent starts in August, but was sent down to Triple-A, and then the bullpen when the team wanted to get a look at some young prospects in September. He's not a big strikeout guy (69 in 24 appearances split between three levels), but he does not issue a lot of free passes either (20 walks in that same period of time). He will compete with a half-dozen others for the back end of the rotation or serve as a long-relief/swingman type.
Nunez hopped from Double-A to the majors, back to Triple-A and then back to the majors in 2006. He was great for Triple-A Omaha, going 2-2 with a 2.13 ERA and saving five games. He continued to stink in the majors, where he now owns a 3-2 mark with a 6.99 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. He'll be in the spring mix for the Royals' bolstered bullpen, but his hard throwing needs to be less hittable for him to win a job.
Nunez had no business pitching in the majors in 2005 after coming over from Pittsburgh in a deal for Benito Santiago. Twelve dominating games of relief in Double-A had the Royals hoping. However, Nunez was crushed in the majors to the tune of a 7.55 ERA and allowed nine home runs in 53 innings. He's a hard thrower with good control, so if his lack of Major League success at age 21 doesn't get him down, he should bounce back nicely in 2006.
The Bucs decided to keep a Nunez on their 40-man roster once again, but this time itís not Abraham, the utility infielder. Nunez, the next generation, is a 6-foot-2, 152-pound righty, who is slightly built, but throws his fastball in the mid-90s. He was 10-4 in 27 appearances with Low A Hickory last season and finished third among all Pirates minor leaguers with a 3.06 ERA and fourth with 140 strikeouts.