Juan Carlos Oviedo is eligible to return from his eight-week suspension for identity fraud on July 23, but the reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez won’t be ready to rejoin the Marlins’ bullpen by then because he’s been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Oviedo suffered the injury while working his way back into game shape in the minors and the UCL, if torn, is what leads to Tommy John surgery and a 12-month recovery.
For now the Marlins are saying there’s no return timetable, which means he’ll likely rest for a few weeks and then have doctors take another look. If healthy Oviedo was in position to potentially reclaim his old closer job, or at least a share of the save chances along with Heath Bell, but those plans are out the window now.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.