Juan Carlos Oviedo’s comeback just hit a snag.
The right-hander formerly known as Leo Nunez walked off the mound after recording just one out Saturday night in a rehab appearance at Triple-A New Orleans because of an undisclosed injury.
The New Orleans Zephyrs training staff termed the ailment as “tightness” and didn’t offer much else.
Oviedo is eligible to return from his eight-week suspension on July 23 and was hoping to be ready to rock on that date, but this setback might push his 2012 major league debut into early August.
He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since revealing last September that he had been playing under a false name and birthdate. It was the dying wish of his father that he come clean and honor the family name.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.