Pedro Viola, relief pitcher

Does he have a pulse left, as a prospect?

Not really, no; he’s still got the proverbial puncher’s chance as a left-hander with a mid-90’s fastball but he’s now 29 and is still what he was at 26. Viola is a Dominican who wasn’t signed until he was 23, partly because he was a non-prospect outfielder who converted to pitching late. As I’ve said before, he has a very funky delivery — while on the rubber, he’s facing the second baseman — with consequently bad control. He’s managed to get AA hitters out, but has a career AAA ERA of 7.30 in 74 innings, with a 58-83 BB/K ratio.

Actually, Viola does have some positives besides his fastball. He apparently hasn’t been seriously hurt, which is a good thing, and he’s equally effective — or ineffective — against both left and right handed pitchers. Of course, the latter hurts his chances of developing into a left-handed relief specialist, and the former won’t matter if he walks 7 batters a game. 

He’s very frustrating to watch, since it’s clear to me that he won’t develop the control he needs to be a major-league pitcher. And when he focuses control, he gets hit hard.  Every time he comes in to pitch, he slows the game down to a crawl and most of the time hurts the Tides’ chances of winning.

It’s hard to be sure, but I think Viola is eligible for minor-league free agency. I don’t know whether or not the Orioles will want him back.


One comment

  1. Jon Shepherd

    Contact me at Camden Depot if you are interested in writing about the Tides there. We are looking for posts that would go up Saturday Morning. None of us gets paid, but there are some very minor benefits for writing for a blog in the ESPN Sweetspot Network.

    Anyway, let me know.

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