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MLB 2023 | Oviedo wins again, Yandy smacks sixth homer, Arozarena three hits in Cincy, and more...

Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2023 season. A compendium from several sources

Johan Oviedo (Photo: Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today)

April 19

Johan Oviedo gave up one run over six innings while striking out six on Tuesday in a win over the Rockies.

Given a five-run cushion in the top of the first, Oviedo quickly settled down in his test at Coors. It wasn't until the fourth inning before he was tested. He walked Kris Bryant, coughed up a single to Ryan McMahon, and then Mike Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly driving home Bryant for the Rockies first run. He fired two shut-out innings before leaving the game after six. He generated 13 swinging strikes and notched a sublime 38 percent CSW. Oviedo is the Pirates’ No. 4 starter but his 2.22 ERA (six earned runs over 24 1/3 innings) in the early part of the season ranks among the Top 15 in the game. Baseball Savant reports that opposing hitters have a slim .191 expected batting average against his most effective pitch right now, the slider. His variety might not be overpowering, but that's not the point. Over six innings, Oviedo threw 84 pitches, mostly sliders, resulting in 32 called strikes and whiffs. In addition to striking out six and walking three, he gave up just three hits. He has a massive test against the Dodgers in his next outing on Tuesday.

Yandy Díaz went 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk Wednesday against the Reds.

Díaz hit a leadoff homer at 114.5 mph, the hardest-hit ball of his career, off Levi Stoudt. Hitting flyballs at a decent rate for the first time in his career, he has six homers in 17 games this year. Last year, he had nine homers in 137 games. Díaz has gone yard in back-to-back contests, and on the season he's batting .274 (17-for-62) with six homers, 13 RBI and 16 runs in 17 games -- a fantastic pace for a player whose career high in home runs is only 14, set back in 2019.

Aroldis Chapman: Scoreless again.

Chapman was scoreless in his seven consecutive outing this season after going one inning against the Rangers in a 12-3 loss on Wednesday. Chapman used 16 pitches - 9 strikes - facing the minimum striking out one. He has 13 strikeouts in 7 innings and has allowed only 2 hits in 2023.

Cionel Pérez and Yennier Cano: Both saw action against the Nationals.

In Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Nationals, Pérez and Cano combined once again. Pérez pitched 1/3 of an inning in the eighth inning, striking out one and walking two. Cano was brought in to relieve him, and with just five pitches, three of them strikes, Cano got two outs over Joey Meneses and Luis García. So far he has not allowed a run in four games with four strikeouts and his third hold of the season was this Wednesday. Cano has shown that he can serve the team well since being promoted to the senior roster. According to Baseball Savant, Cano has added 5-6" of vertical drop to his changeup and sinker this year. That may have been the key to his early success. To determine if he will really have the expected results all year, we have to wait for the adjustment of the hitters and a larger sample size.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr: Hitless on Wednesday.

Gurriel Jr. went hitless on Wednesday in a 14-5 loss to the Cardinals. Gurriel went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. His BA descended to .258 for the year even when in his last 7 games he his slashing .290/.290/.484. This is Gurriel's first year with the D-backs after spending five seasons with Toronto.

Luis Robert and Oscar Colás: One hit each against the Phillies.

Robert went 1-for-4 and added his sixth double of the season, along with a strikeout, in a 5-2 defeat against the Phillies on Wednesday. Likewise, Oscar Colás had a 2-1 afternoon with a strikeout as well.Colás was replaced by PH Romy González later in the game.This year, Robert is slashing .263/.282/.539. However, he is struggling right now with .111/.172/.222 in his last seven games.Colás has a .232/.295/.304 batting line with a home run and five RBIs in his MLB season debut.

Randy Arozarena went 3-for-5 and stole his third base of the season Wednesday against the Reds.

Arozarena's first-inning single left his bat at 114.3 mph, a new career-high for him. He also had a 101-mph lineout today. He's sporting a 60% hard-hit rate, up from 41% last year. Getting a partial day off as the DH in the afternoon contest, Arozarena reeled off his third straight multi-hit performance and his seventh in his last 14 games. The 28-year-old has been a key cog in the Rays' incredible start to 2023, batting .333 (24-for-72) with four homers, three steals, 14 runs and 18 RBI.

Yoán Moncada (back) is likely to go on a brief rehab stint before rejoining the White Sox.

Moncada is eligible to return Friday, but he's not expected back until next week. With Jake Burger playing so well, the White Sox aren't going to rush things.



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