Originally Posted by mace
I'm pretty surprised by Viola's showing here. I understand that he's left-handed and throws hard, but that's all I see (along with the strikeouts that go with the package). By all appearances, his command must be pretty awful: He walks way too many and his last two WHIPs were 1.506 (Chattanooga, '08) and 1.642 (Louisville, '09). He'll turn 27 in June. I could maybe see it if there were no other pitching options in the system, but out of the bullpen you could make better cases for Ondrusek and Del Rosario, to start with, and then Thurman and Joe Krebs (both lefties); maybe even Daniel Corcino . . . The best, by far, that Viola has consistently pitched in the last couple years was when he made seven starts in AA in '08. He was sharp. Not sure why they broke off that experiment.
My feeling on Viola is that he still has a chance to be a back of the pen, high leverage arm from the left side, with his stuff if he can get the control issue resolved he could be closer material with 2 very plus pitches. The reason I am still giving him time at this juncture is because he's only been pitching since '03 IIRC.