2011 Orioles Retrospective: Pedro Viola

28 year-old left-handed reliever Pedro Viola spent most of the 2011 season in Double-A, where he did a nice job (2.04 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9). He was called up to the majors for a couple games at the end of May, and then again for a couple weeks at the end of June. Viola only appeared in 4 games total for Baltimore, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing 4 runs on 3 home runs (2 of them to lefties). He also K’ed 4 and walked 2.

Viola seems to have a decent fastball (92-93 with some movement, but he only has a 7.2% whiff rate with it in his major league career) and a good slider (53% whiff rate). The propensity to give up the longball (6 in 12 career IP now) has hurt him at the big league level, as well as in Triple-A (8 HR in 59 IP) – not totally unexpected given that he’s a flyball pitcher. With his ability to miss bats though (9.9 K/9 career in the minors), there’s a chance he could be an OK cheap bullpen arm if the O’s need a third LOOGY out there.