As expected, Juan Carlos Oviedo is having difficulty securing a visa in the Dominican Republic after the reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez was busted for falsifying his identity.
Marlins pitchers and catchers must report tomorrow, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes that Oviedo definitely won’t be there and “the Marlins aren’t sure when Oviedo will be given the green light.”
Marlins president David Samson said previously that the team is no longer counting on Oviedo being on the Opening Day roster, although that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be cleared for a visa and travel to the United States by then. It could mean he reports to spring training and MLB hands down a suspension that keeps him from pitching.
Oviedo avoided arbitration last month by agreeing to a one-year, $6 million contract, but much like Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia in Cleveland the Marlins won’t have to pay anything if he can’t pitch for one reason or another.
Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.
Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.
The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.