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Thread: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

  1. #31
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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/2...903150379/1071
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #32
    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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.
    If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.

  4. #33
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Where is he going to start this year? AA? AAA?
    @#$% my @#$%^*&

  5. #34
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidty622 View Post
    Where is he going to start this year? AA? AAA?
    I would wager AA. The AAA rotation seems full.

  6. #35
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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.
    @#$% my @#$%^*&

  7. #36
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Viola had another dominant inning today: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K vs the Rays.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  8. #37
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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.

  9. #38
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    --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...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/con...incinnatireds/
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 03-19-2009 at 04:59 PM.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  10. #39
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Are they considering trying him as a SP in AA? Is that the word? Or leaving him in relief?

  11. #40
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    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.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  12. #41
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  13. #42
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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...

  14. #43
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    He sure doesn't look 25

  15. #44
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    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?

  16. #45
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    Re: Nice piece on Pedro Viola

    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 miss Adam Dunn.


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