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OnBaseMachine
02-19-2009, 02:19 PM
This piece is a little old but this is the first time I've seen it and I thought it was very interesting. The reason I posted this is because I'm becoming more and more intrigued with Viola. While it's highly unlikely that he wins the job, Viola is one of the guys in contention for the fifth starters role. I'm very intrigued by Viola and apparently the Reds are too. Mark Sheldon (Reds.com beat writer) reported today that Viola is impressing in big league camp.

Here's more info on Pedro Viola as told by his former AFL teammate, Randy Newsom.

When I was 20, a scout from the Reds invited me to a late summer workout at the University of Cincinnati's baseball field on a Saturday morning. As an undrafted junior in college that had professional aspirations, I was ecstatic. I had actually caught the eye of a professional scout and now had the opportunity to perform for that pro contract I so desperately wanted. When I arrived, 20 minutes before the scheduled start, I was startled to see over 150 other baseball players ranging in ages from 15 to 25 gathered around signing in and collecting numbers for the day's activity.

I was halfway crushed. I decided to stay and I threw well enough to be invited to stay for a private showcase in the afternoon. I pitched really well again, or so I thought, and that was it. No further info, no contract, just a good job, thank you, and away I went, back to Tufts University to improve on my game and hopefully catch another scout's eye. The whole day reminded me how tough it was to get signed and how many players were competing for those pro contracts.

At 20 years old it was a tough experience. I can't imagine what it would have been like at 16, or 14, or maybe even 12. But that is the reality that one of my teammates in the AFL faced where he grew up, in the Dominican Republic.

Pedro Viola is a 24-year old 6-foot-1, 185-pound lefthanded pitcher for the Reds. He throws anywhere from 90-95 mph, with decent control and command, a good slider, and a workable changeup. Coming out of college in America, that skill-set would have landed Pedro at least a million dollar bonus and a fast track to the big leagues. The Reds signed him two years ago, when he was 22 for the astronomical price of $1,000.

When I first heard this, I was astounded. I had to get our shortstop, Sean Rodriguez, a bi-lingual Cuban-American (not to mention an incredible shortstop), to come over and translate just to make sure my barely conversational Spanish wasn't deceiving me. And it was true. Pedro Viola signed with the Reds for $1000 two years earlier. Since then he spent one season in the (Rookie-level) Dominican Summer League (a weed-out process for Latin American players just to get to the GCL) and then worked his way from low Class A Dayton all the way to Double-A Chattanooga and now the Arizona Fall League. Along the way he threw up a 3-win, 2-loss, 6-save season with a 1.42 ERA, a sub .200 BAA, and a 94-30 strike out to walk ratio in 82 innings. Pedro can pitch.

The irony is that he almost didn't have the chance to prove that in America. Even with his talent, Pedro, like me, is a late bloomer. He's a hard worker, probably the reason he has increased his velocity (which he says was about 85 when he was 16) to the 95 he occasionally flashes today. But unlike me, the opportunities for a late bloomer in the Dominican Republic or most foreign countries in the baseball world are few and far between. He couldn't go to high school, then college, and then play independent ball if necessary. At 19 years old, with a fringy 87 mph fastball, Pedro had to find a way to stand out. So at someone else's advice, he did the same thing that many Latin American players did and maybe still do, he changed his name. Using the birth certificate of a cousin, Pedro was no longer Pedro, he was a 16-year old prospect with a new name and a not so fringy 87 mph heater. He signed with a team I won't name for $20,000. A year later, after he was discovered to be using the wrong name and was actually 20 years old, they released him. Pedro was Pedro again, but he was out of work. He went back to the academy that he signed out of the first time and continued to pitch. No one was interested. His velocity jumped to a consistent 90 mph and he developed a slider. To no avail, he was damaged goods. Some might argue that he didn't deserve another contract for lying. When I started in pro ball, I would have said that too. Now I know better.

While the game itself is able to mesh players on the field from around the world, the game outside of the game is a clash of cultures. In America, players live and die with the draft. I am a rarity, an undrafted American free agent. Outside of the United States, the process is a lot less regulated and even more cutthroat. Players are constantly scrutinized by agents, scouts, academies, and organizations at younger ages. It seems a lot of teams assume that if you haven't signed by 20, you probably have something wrong with you. Even if you do get signed, you have to work your way to the States and then start up that same long road with players that are speaking their native language in their native country. I can't even imagine how long that road can be.

I know that some American fans, executives, and even players have soured from some of the issues that have come from the growth in international player development. Age scandals, steroid abuse, exorbitant bonuses to players and agents alike, and many other negative headlines are easy to point to as problems. These are issues that need to be dealt with and are being dealt with from what I've heard.

But, after getting to know and interact with these players on a day-to-day basis and play with them I've come to understand at least some of what they are dealing with. Despite the differences in languages, cultures, and backgrounds we are sharing the same experience in trying to chase down the same dream. It's a distinctly American dream where the best players get to play on the biggest stage.

All that said, after two years of working out and hoping, Pedro's dream was turning into a fantasy. He was a couple months away from being forced out of the academy because of his age. Younger players, some just sixteen and some using aliases and false birth dates, were taking all the opportunities and attention that Pedro needed to get that elusive second chance. He was a player with no team. At the same age, I was an undrafted free agent who had just finished college--I knew the feeling.

But baseball is a game of breaks, and for Pedro and I, God thankfully granted us both a big one in the form of a major league organization. Pedro continues to work hard and even on the rare days that he struggles he keeps a great perspective. Pedro's just happy to have this opportunity. One he didn't think was possible just two years earlier.

Two years later, you have to think that the Reds are probably pretty thankful too.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265145.html

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2009, 02:41 PM
Initially I thought Viola could develop into a valuable bullpen piece, a lefty reliever in the mold of Rafael Perez of the Indians. But it appears the Reds like him better as a starter. In fact, Baseball America says the Reds believe he can develop into a #3 starter. A #3 starter is a lot more valuable than a reliever. I think his changeup with dictate where he ends up. Right now he throws a fastball in the 90-95 range with a good slider, but his changeup still needs some work. If Mario Soto can help develop that changeup into an average or better pitch then he's got a chance at developing into a solid starter.

Here's a video of Viola pitching in the AFL:

http://vimeo.com/2091057

camisadelgolf
02-19-2009, 03:57 PM
I've actually seen this article linked on RZ before, but it's definitely an interesting piece. I'm more critical of what DanO did for the Reds than most, but he deserves a lot of credit for getting the ball rolling in the Reds' scouting in the DR. If not for that, the Reds wouldn't have Cueto, Francisco, nor Viola.

princeton
02-19-2009, 04:41 PM
I'm guessing that he had to move out of the bullpen because he didn't dominate lefties

it's the Ted Power move. dude, you do no useful job in the 'pen. eat some innings if you can.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2009, 04:57 PM
I'm guessing that he had to move out of the bullpen because he didn't dominate lefties

it's the Ted Power move. dude, you do no useful job in the 'pen. eat some innings if you can.

Career vs LH batters:

60 IP, 49 H, 25 BB/68 K, 2.93 ERA

princeton
02-19-2009, 05:13 PM
Career vs LH batters:

60 IP, 49 H, 25 BB/68 K, 2.93 ERA

did you look at last year's nos?

camisadelgolf
02-19-2009, 05:16 PM
did you look at last year's nos?
In the small sample size, last season against left-handed hitters, his groundball percentage went up, and his homeruns allowed percentage went down.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2009, 05:19 PM
did you look at last year's nos?

2008 vs LH batters:

29.7 IP, 31 H, 17 BB/25 K, 3.98 FIP ERA...for some reason minorleaguesplits doesn't list actual ERA, just FIP.

My guess is the Reds put him in the rotation because they like his potential. BA says the Reds think he can be a #3 starter.

princeton
02-19-2009, 05:45 PM
2008 vs LH batters:

29.7 IP, 31 H, 17 BB/25 K.

there you go. that's not what the big team is looking for out of a lefty reliever.

maybe he was nicked up, maybe it's just the small sample size, or maybe he just can't dominate lefties above A ball. if it's the latter, a major league manager is more likely to give him a look as a starter, which might explain the change.

but it seems silly to suggest a no. 3. if he was righthanded, we wouldn't even be talking.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2009, 05:49 PM
The guy throws in the mid-90's with a good slider. He's a legit prospect, IMO. The potential is definitely there and the Reds obviously like his talent. He's only been pitching for a few years so he's a bit raw.

princeton
02-19-2009, 05:59 PM
The guy throws in the mid-90's with a good slider. He's a legit prospect, IMO. The potential is definitely there and the Reds obviously like his talent. He's only been pitching for a few years so he's a bit raw.


I think that Walt might be polishing him up for trade.

with a lefty starter, even in the minors, you get a lot of knee-jerk managers resting their best lefty bats and going with weaker righty bats. That's feeding into Viola's strengths and away from his weaknesses. it eventually gets figured out in the majors (though maybe not by Dusty), but Walt tends to deal guys before anyone's the wiser.

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2009, 11:06 AM
From John Fay:

--Pedro Viola, the 25-year-old Dominican left-hander, is the pitcher who has turned heads early in camp. Hes got a great arm. He didnt sign until he was 22. His minor league numbers are good: 2.70 ERA, 193 hits, 86 walks and 225 strikeouts in 226 1/3 innings. But Viola had a rough time of it in the Arizona Fall League (8.20 ERA in eight starts). Should be refine things he could be a factor this year or next.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3af72b379a-b218-45a6-b7f4-0e5a2d29f50b&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2009, 11:19 AM
From Hal:

No, no Pedro

Every year there is one pitcher that the hitters prefer not to face and this year it is lefthander Pedro Viola. He throws 98 mph, but what leaves hitters with trepidation is that he doesn't always know where it's going.

On Thursday, it was Alex Gonzalez's turn to hit when Viola went to the mound and Gonzalez turned to Brandon Phillips and said, "Go ahead." Said Phillips, "Be my guest."

On Viola's first pitch, Phillips said, "98."

Then it was Encarnacion urging Ryan Hanigan to drop in ahead. Hanigan declined and said, "What's he doing here?"

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2009/02/19/ddn021909redsnotesweb.html

redhawk61
02-20-2009, 11:22 AM
98?!????!!?

did Viola somehow add, 3-8mph to his fastball over the winter, somehow I doubt it.....but if he did then:eek:;):thumbup::beerme::party::jump:

If true he instantly becomes a top 15 prospect in my list....I thought about saying he would be higher, but after relooking over our prospect list, I still can't believe how deep we our with talent.

camisadelgolf
02-20-2009, 03:23 PM
Arm surgery in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

Superdude
02-20-2009, 06:25 PM
I know he's 25, has never been reported to throw at that type of velocity, and it sounds like McCoy may have been using Phillips as a radar gun, but it's hard not too get excited when you see lefty and 98 in the same sentence. Please be the Cueto of '09! :pray:

princeton
02-20-2009, 07:17 PM
Jerry Spradlin showed up throwing 98 one year.

unfortunately, in all other things, he remained Jerry Spradlin

Sea Ray
02-21-2009, 11:52 AM
A little talked about need for this team is a LH starter. I'm in the minoroty but I think that is their biggest need right now. If I'm the Reds I give him every opportunity to start.

dougdirt
02-21-2009, 12:05 PM
A little talked about need for this team is a LH starter. I'm in the minoroty but I think that is their biggest need right now. If I'm the Reds I give him every opportunity to start.

I think its at the bottom of this list as long as we have 5 competent starters I don't care what arm they throw with.

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2009, 12:12 PM
I think its at the bottom of this list as long as we have 5 competent starters I don't care what arm they throw with.

I agree.

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Pedro Viola has been added to the Dominican Republic WBC roster:

And we found out today that Pedro Viola (hard-throwing lefthanded pitcher) is going to pitch for the Dominican Republic, said Baker.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/

ANOTHER GONE? Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto will leave camp March 1 to join the Dominican team for the World Baseball Classic. Left-hander Pedro Viola may join them.

I heard this morning they might request him, Baker said.

Viola hasnt pitched above Double-A, but he throws in the mid- to high-90s. Volquez, Cueto, Joey Votto, Jerry Hairston, Willy Taveras and Ramon Hernandez are among the key players set to play in WBC. Closer Francisco Cordero will not because hes coming off surgery. They could be gone as long as three weeks. Baker would obviously perfer to keep them in camp.

Its above me, Baker said. "It's up to the commissioner."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3aa509a419-15a7-4180-91c5-857e54e0ddf4&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

11larkin11
02-22-2009, 04:06 PM
If the Reds really view Viola as a #3, and seem keen on keeping Ramon Ramirez as a starter, does that mean soon we could see 4/5 of our rotation being Dominican?

camisadelgolf
02-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Isn't Matt Maloney Dominican, too?

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2009, 06:59 PM
Isn't Matt Maloney Dominican, too?

I can't tell if this is a joke or not, but no Maloney isn't Dominican.

BTW, Ramon Ramirez is Venezuelan.

camisadelgolf
02-23-2009, 03:30 AM
I can't tell if this is a joke or not, but no Maloney isn't Dominican.

BTW, Ramon Ramirez is Venezuelan.
Yeah, it was a bad joke. And good catch on Ramirez being Venezuelan.

Sea Ray
02-25-2009, 11:27 AM
I think its at the bottom of this list as long as we have 5 competent starters I don't care what arm they throw with.

Without a doubt the most important thing is to have 5 competent starters, but a staff with 5 competent starters with includes a lefty or two is superior to the competent staff of all RHPs.

LoganBuck
02-25-2009, 01:37 PM
The next time I hear Marty or Jeff call this kid Pedro Vie o lah I am going to scream. I assume his name is pronounced Vee o la. His isn't some pasty white guy from Minnesota.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2009, 01:40 PM
The next time I hear Marty or Jeff call this kid Pedro Vie o lah I am going to scream. I assume his name is pronounced Vee o la. His isn't some pasty white guy from Minnesota.

I'm pretty sure its Vee o la. What are they saying about him?

LoganBuck
02-25-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm pretty sure its Vee o la. What are they saying about him?

They have said in brief snippets that Pedro "Vie o lah" has looked impressive, or has a "big arm". Nothing much beyond that.

OnBaseMachine
03-14-2009, 11:23 AM
Viola is off to a nice start so far this spring. Combined between Reds camp, the WBC, and the WBC exhibition game, Viola has thrown five shutout innings and allowed only two hits while walking just one and striking out five batters. This kid is a potential sleeper, IMO. If he can gain consistent command of his stuff he could have a breakthrough season.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 11:47 AM
Viola set for fine tuning

By John Fay jfay@enquirer.com March 15, 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. - Left-hander Pedro Viola clearly has the arm to make the jump from Double-A to the big leagues.

The Reds probably don't have a spot to accommodate the move this spring.

"I don't know if it's right now or not," manager Dusty Baker said. "You usually carry two left-handers. Billy Bray is not hurt. If Bray was hurt, it would be a different story."

Bray is dealing with a slightly strained left hamstring. He's unable to pitch in games - the Reds don't want to risk him covering first - but he is throwing live batting practice.

If Bray doesn't get healthy in time, Viola could very well make the club.

Viola has pitched three times - twice for the Reds and once for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic - this spring. He's retired all nine batters he's faced, three by strikeout.

"I remember we took Steve Howe with the Dodgers," Baker said. "He was out of Double-A. He ended up being our closer. That was a big step."

"A lot of it is the confidence of the young man and the catcher you have to lead the young man through the forest - as Van Morrison would say."

Viola is 25 years old. But he's only been in the Reds system for three years. The Reds signed him after the San Francisco Giants released him in 2005, just four months after signing him.

"All he had was a fastball when he was with the Giants," said Mario Soto, a Reds special assistant and the team's Dominican pitching guru. "He's got a great arm."

Soto taught Viola the changeup.

With the new pitch, Viola went 3-5 with a 2.04 ERA in the Dominican Summer League in 2006.

The following summer Mike LaCoss, then a Reds' roving instructor, taught Viola the curveball.

Viola went a combined 3-2 with a 1.42 ERA in stops at Dayton, Sarasota and Chattanooga.

"His curveball is better than his changeup now," Soto said.

Last year, Viola went 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA at Chattanooga.

"I was kind of wild at the beginning," he said. "But then I pitched better."

Soto is fan of Viola's and not just because of his stuff.

"He's one of the hardest workers we've got," Soto said. "This kid really wants to be good."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090315/SPT04/903150379/1071

KoryMac5
03-17-2009, 06:52 PM
If this kid gets those new pitches figured out on a consistent basis he may turn out to be a nice addition to the big league club.

schmidty622
03-18-2009, 08:37 AM
Where is he going to start this year? AA? AAA?

dougdirt
03-18-2009, 12:46 PM
Where is he going to start this year? AA? AAA?
I would wager AA. The AAA rotation seems full.

schmidty622
03-18-2009, 01:14 PM
So he probably won't get a sniff at the bigs for another year or so? Possibly Sept. call up?

From what I've read in this thread I'd reall like to see the kid.

OnBaseMachine
03-18-2009, 04:43 PM
Viola had another dominant inning today: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K vs the Rays.

mace
03-19-2009, 11:08 AM
Viola really righted himself last year when he became a starter. I wonder if these one-inning stints suggest that he's still a reliever in the Reds' eyes. To take it further, I wonder if they have him in the backs of their minds to fill in if Bray can't answer the bell. Hope not.

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2009, 03:53 PM
--David Weathers on left-hander Pedro Viola: "He throws harder in PFP (pitchers fielding practice) than I do in a game. I never seen anyone that free and loose throw so hard."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a0fcb0837-6677-41fc-8688-d26983374b93&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

YOUNG LEFTHANDER Pedro Viola continues to make catcher’s mitts pop while making eyeballs pop with a fastball that comes out of a smooth delivery and arrives at home plate doing about 98.

Said David Weathers, “He throws harder in PFP (pitchers fielding practice) than I do in a game.”

http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/

membengal
03-19-2009, 05:23 PM
Are they considering trying him as a SP in AA? Is that the word? Or leaving him in relief?

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2009, 05:53 PM
Are they considering trying him as a SP in AA? Is that the word? Or leaving him in relief?

They switched him to starting toward the end of last season and he ended up pitching well. His numbers as a starter were: 34 IP, 28 H, and 9 BB/30 K. Minor league splits doesn't have his actual ERA but his FIP was 3.79. As for this year, I believe the plan is for him to start. Baseball America said awhile back that Reds officials think he can develop into a #3 starter.

TRF
03-19-2009, 07:50 PM
AAA rotation looks to be Homer, Maloney, LeCure, Thompson, Ramirez. How awesome is it to have a AAA rotation that young, forcing Viola to AA? I'm thinking a trade has to happen at some point.

Its a SP logjam.

membengal
03-19-2009, 07:55 PM
If Viola dominates AA, which would be choice, then perhaps Maloney can get moved mid-year as an extra piece in a Harang or Arroyo deal, allowing Viola to move up to AAA at that point.

If Viola can master his stuff, that is the kind of lightning in a bottle that can make a farm system...

JayBruceFan
03-20-2009, 01:49 AM
He sure doesn't look 25

BRM
03-20-2009, 09:23 AM
AAA rotation looks to be Homer, Maloney, LeCure, Thompson, Ramirez. How awesome is it to have a AAA rotation that young, forcing Viola to AA? I'm thinking a trade has to happen at some point.

Its a SP logjam.

A SP logjam? In the Reds organization? :explode:

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2009, 01:09 PM
I watched Viola pitch on TV last night and I was very impressed with his stuff. His fastball was consistently at 93/94 with movement. He also showed a good breaking ball. I don't remember seeing him throw his changeup that Soto taught him. I can see why the Reds love his arm. So far this spring he's allowed just one hit and no runs in 4.1 innings while walking just one and striking out seven batters. In the World Baseball Classic he threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. So overall he's thrown 5.1 innings of 1-hit ball, with 1 BB/9 K.

I like the Reds plan of using him as a starter. He's got decent size at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and he throws three pitches. I'd send him to Double-A to begin the season and bump him to Louisville midseason if he's pitching well.

Screwball
03-28-2009, 05:52 AM
I watched Viola pitch on TV last night and I was very impressed with his stuff. His fastball was consistently at 93/94 with movement. He also showed a good breaking ball. I don't remember seeing him throw his changeup that Soto taught him. I can see why the Reds love his arm. So far this spring he's allowed just one hit and no runs in 4.1 innings while walking just one and striking out seven batters. In the World Baseball Classic he threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. So overall he's thrown 5.1 innings of 1-hit ball, with 1 BB/9 K.

I like the Reds plan of using him as a starter. He's got decent size at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and he throws three pitches. I'd send him to Double-A to begin the season and bump him to Louisville midseason if he's pitching well.

I still like him out of the pen better. He throws two nasty pitches but he's a little bit older at 25, going on 26 years old. Unless he can take a giant step forward to commanding yet another pitch (CH), I'll still consider him a pretty damn good bullpen prospect. no shame in that.

RED VAN HOT
03-28-2009, 01:25 PM
To me he has been enigmatic. There have been stretches in which he has been virtually untouchable. During other stretches he has been hammered. Does anyone have an insight into his inconsistency? Is it mechanics, unreported injuries, adjustment to new leagues, or just typical left handedness?

icehole3
03-28-2009, 02:22 PM
AAA rotation looks to be Homer, Maloney, LeCure, Thompson, Ramirez. How awesome is it to have a AAA rotation that young, forcing Viola to AA? I'm thinking a trade has to happen at some point.

Its a SP logjam.

I'd still like to see them draft pitchers with their first 5 picks this year in the draft.

OnBaseMachine
03-30-2009, 10:37 AM
WHAT ABOUT PEDRO? Pedro Viola is another left-hander in the mix.

Viola has started and relieved in his minor-league career. He has not given up a run this spring.

"We're starting to see him as a reliever," Baker said. "He has a dynamite arm, smart kid. He can throw every day."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090330/SPT04/903300341/1071

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2009, 02:31 AM
Viola was optioned to the minors a couple days ago. I hope the Reds stick to the plan of using him as a starter, at least for now.

His final spring stats with the Reds: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

OnBaseMachine
04-11-2009, 10:47 AM
Viola's mother ailing

By John Fay and Tom Groeschen jfay@enquirer.com, tgroeschen@enquirer.com April 10, 2009

The Reds had a team meeting that had nothing to do with baseball Friday. The players were updated on the condition of Teresa Contreras, the mother of Pedro Viola.

She had a complicated operation Friday in Tampa to remove a thyroid tumor from her face that also invaded her brain.

Players were asked to contribute to the cost of the operation, which will total at least $162,000. Players Assistance Program paid half the cost.

Theyve been a huge help, assistant general manager Bob Miller said. (Dr. Tim Kremchek) called it a million dollar operation. But he was able to set it up with Tampa General.

The operation took place Friday and was deemed a success.

Viola, a 25-year-old left-hander, was one of the top pitchers in camp. Hes currently with Triple-A Louisville.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090410/SPT04/304100091/1071

That's gotta be tough on Pedro. Hopefully everything turns out OK for his mother. It's nice to see the Reds players pitched in and helped with the cost. IIRC, Pedro grew up in extreme poverty and when he signed he didn't receive a very big bonus. I'm rooting for him to make it in the majors, not only to help the Reds but to start making that big league money too.

JaxRed
04-11-2009, 11:39 AM
Hope the Reds kicked somethng in also.