There is an article in today’s AJC discussing the potential of newly-acquired reliever Oscar Villarreal. Everyone seems to be really high on the prospect of a healthy return to his rookie-season form.
Despite his recent arm problems, the Braves saw enough last season, when he allowed eight hits in 11 innings in September after coming back from the shoulder injury. They believed he could help their revamped bullpen, an opinion reinforced by reports from the Mexican winter league.
“We made the trade based on our scouting,” general manager John Schuerholz said. “Not only what our scouts saw last year, but in the past, before his arm woes from the use/abuse that happened to him a couple years ago.
This thing is, who is more likely to have better information about him? A Braves scout or the D-backs, who had direct access to him and all of his medical records. My guess is O.V.—that’s what I’ll call him— will make a few appearances, pitch mediocre, and head to the DL. And that will be the end of that. He might turn out to be something great, but this Villareal for closer talk is nonsense this early. Right now, I think Lance Cormier—the other pitcher in the Estrada deal—intrigues me more. He is the type of guy the Braves turn around.