Thursday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates re-called a pitcher and an outfielder from the minor leagues as their September call-ups
With the month of September upon us MLB teams can now carry 28 players on their active roster instead of 26. Thursday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced their two September call-ups as they promoted right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo and outfielder Cal Mitchell from the minors.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Oviedo, along with Malcolm Nunez, from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Josè Quintana trade in late July. With the Cardinals with season Oviedo posted a 3.20 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 6.5% walk rate and a 24.1% strikeout rate in 25.1 innings. These 25.1 innings came in 14 outings, one of which was a start.
With the Pirates, Oviedo will be used as a starter. The 24-year-old will start for the Pirates against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. After being acquired Oviedo was working at Triple-A to get stretched back out. With Triple-A Indy, Oviedo posted a 0.79 ERA, 2.26 FIP, 6.7% walk rate and a 28.9% strikeout rate in 11.1 innings pitched.
It will be intriguing to see how Oviedo pitches in September. With a strong showing, he could put himself to start the 2023 season in the Pirate starting rotation. Especially with the rotation being filled with question marks behind Roansy Contreras, JT Brubaker, and Mitch Keller.
Even if Oviedo struggles as a starting pitcher, as has been the case in the major leagues in the past, he could still have a bright future with the Pirates as a reliever. It is very possible though that many of his struggles as a MLB starter came from him being rushed to the major leagues during the COVID 2020 season where there were no minor league games, negatively impacting his development.
As for Mitchell, he is a prospect with nothing left to prove in the minors. He has hit for a .339/.391/.547 slash line to go with a 146 wRC+ in 261 plate appearances at Triple-A this season. While Mitchell has hit for just a .204/.241/.336 slash line and a 58 wRC+ in 46 MLB PAs this season, his hard hit rate (38.8%) and average exit velocity (90 MPH) have all been better than MLB average. At this point Mitchell will be best served getting as many MLB at-bats as possible to see if he can stick or not.