The Jays got a decent minors pitcher for Dana Eveland but could have easily lost him for nothing – which is pretty much what they gave up to get him from Oakland in February. They had promised cash or a player to be named for Eveland and he did provide the Jays with some solid starts mixed in with some horrifying starts. The Jays have known all along that their rotation was going to include Jesse Litsch, Marc Rzepczynski, or Brian Tallet, and that Eveland was merely a fill in until those guys return to action. It’s surprising that the Pirates had to give up as much as they did for Eveland, because there is some real potential value in RHP Ronald Uviedo that still has a chance to benefit the Jays in a year or two.
I wouldn’t get ahead of myself and call Uviedo a prospect by any means, but one does not have to make BA’s top 30 list for your team to become a useful piece of the lineup – Fred Lewis is case and point. Uviedo is 23 years old, stands in at 6’1″ 160 lbs, and hails from Venezuela – joining many Venezuelan prospect in the Jays minors system. Although none of the Venezuelan prospects are in AA at this point, many are coming up from HiA and LoA, with Henderson Alvarez being the most prominent to be in AA very soon. This is something that should help him out to become comfortable in his new digs.
His 2010 stats point to some effectiveness, but of note is the fact that this has come in relief, whereas in 2009 he had been a starter for the majority of the season and was roughed up a little as a result (still had a below 3.4 ERA and 1.239 Whip, so not exactly blown up). If you take 2009 out of the equation, Uviedo has had a very effective minor league career thus far. His ERA overall is close to 3, whip is 1.11, and he is very close to 1 K per inning overall.
The bad part of his game, as with many minor league pitchers, is the walks – something that has gotten worse thus far in 2010 than it had been since 2007 at 4.8 walks per 9 innings. However, his walks ratio overall still remains 2.5, so I’m almost positive that it’s something that can be fixed mechanically or is something that stems from his adjustment to pitching in AA. Oddly, he has simultaneously lowered his hits per 9 innings in AA from 8.7 in HiA in 2009 to 5.2 in AA in 2010. That’s pretty impressive and is something that Jays staff can build on easily. AA hitters are only hitting .165 against him and he has 28 Ks in 22 IP. Regardless of how you cut it, the Jays got a pretty decent possible pen pitcher in return for someone they were going to release anyhow – so we have to like the deal overall for the Jays.
Alex “The Great” Anthopolous strikes again!
Having said that, the Pirates do get some real value in Dana Eveland who should far much better in the NL than he did in the AL. They get an innings eater that could give them a chance to win 2 out of every 3 nights, and by my count that’s much better than what they’ve had on board for the majority of the season. If they bring up top prospect Brad Lincoln to complete their rotation, they could look much better in the second half of the season than many give them credit for. I am a huge Pedro Alvarez fan, a big fan of Jose Tabata, and do think that this franchise could be on its way up for the first time in a very long time. I’m not saying Eveland is going to walk in there and win 10 games for the Pirates in the second half, but he should do well enough for them to win more of his starts than anyone they previously had slotted in his spot in the rotation.
This deal makes perfect sense for both teams and I hope it works out on both sides. The Jays now boast the absolute best RP team in the minors in the AA New Hampshire affiliate that now has closer Daniel Farquhar, Tim Collins, Trystan Magnuson, Adrian Martin, and now Ronald Uviedo. Good luck to those trying to get late innings wins against that squad!
Our man Tom at Rum Bunter noted Ronald’s great winter work and even throws in a great video of his pitching within this link
For more information on Uviedo’s profile, follow this link to BUCCO Fans.com