Viola II

I did a doubletake when I read Monday’s Baltimore-Seattle boxscore and came across this pitching line:

Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Viola 1.2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

It wasn’t Frank making a comeback at age 51, though; it was the season debut of Dominican lefty (and ex-Reds prospect) #47 Pedro Viola, who was claimed off waivers by the O’s last April and just replaced Brad Bergesen on the major league roster.

Viola may be an ex-prospect, but his K numbers have always been decent (406 K in 368 minor league innings, 10 K in 10 major league innings), and an O’s fan would probably rather have Viola in the bullpen than Bergesen (a.k.a. Kyle Kendrick, Baltimore) in the rotation.

(Seriously: Bergesen career in 343.2 innings: 4.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 1.382 WHIP, 96 ERA+. Kendrick career in 512 innings: 4.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.420 WHIP, 93 ERA+. Take away a few strikeouts, add a World Series ring, and the O’s just swapped Kendrick for Viola.)

Viola will in turn be replaced by Brian Matusz on the O’s roster, but at best, he can eventually become Baltimore’s Antonio Bastardo.

At worst, he’s the Orioles’ best musical instrument since Sam Horn. (Josh Bell can only dream.)

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