Earlier this week Juan Carlos Oviedo reportedly received his work visa, but then it turned out he received a pardon from the U.S. State Department that’s necessary before getting a visa but hadn’t gotten the actual visa yet.
Now he has both, with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reporting that Oviedo has finally been given a visa six months after being charged with identity fraud in the Dominican Republic and is expected to arrive at the Marlins’ spring training complex Monday.
Once he does arrive the clock will start ticking on his eight-week suspension, so Oviedo won’t be a factor for the Marlins before late July. Oviedo was the Marlins’ closer back when he went by Leo Nunez, saving 92 games from 2009-2011, but with Heath Bell now filling that role and several other relievers ahead of him on the late-inning depth chart he seems likely to work in middle relief initially.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”