Cards prospect Oviedo talks development

May 28th, 2021

, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Cardinals’ No. 9 prospect, has spent the onset of the 2021 season split between Triple-A Memphis and making starts for the big league club.

Chalk it up to the roster size or the current point in his development as a pitcher, but Oviedo isn’t worried about either.

Instead, he’s focused on the things that he can control, such as his mindset and preparedness.

“First of all, just always keep your mind clean of any negative thoughts,” Oviedo said. “I'm always trying to work on myself, trying to get better every day [and] control what I can control.”

Oviedo, 23, will start Friday against the D-backs. He was optioned back to Triple-A following his start against the Padres on May 14.

Against the Padres, Oviedo lasted just two innings, allowing three earned runs on two hits while walking five batters and striking out none.

Oviedo fared a bit better in his following start on May 21 at Memphis, going 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs and struck out four, walking just one batter.

“Last start, I was trying to execute really nice and perfect pitches,” Oviedo said. “In bullpens and long toss, I’ve been working with my catcher and just let him move a lot off the plate. … [and] just stay more middle, middle-out.”

He’s hoping the adjustments made will lead to an outing more in line with his first start against the Phillies on April 28, when he tossed five innings of three-run ball and struck out seven.

“Pretty much our style [is to] pitch more in and out instead of out and in,” Oviedo said.

Manager Mike Shildt is hoping to see consistency out of Oviedo.

“I think that's what it boils down to [for] everybody in the name of the game,“ Shildt said. “He's clearly got the weapons. He's got three to four plus pitches [and a] high-level competitive spirit.”

Hopes for Williams
With Tyler O’Neill back from the injured list and in left field on Thursday, outfielder Justin Williams shifted over to right for Thursday’s matchup.

Shildt is hoping to see more consistent contact out of Williams, who owns a .162/.273/.248 slash line across 45 games entering the day.

“If he can hit the ball on the line or get the ball in the air a little bit and put the ball in play a little bit more -- he's a big strong kid -- I think you'll see some real positive things,” Shildt said.

He said it
[He’s] pretty much the entire package, and he's got a lot of different ways he can help us win games.” -- Shildt, on O’Neill, who homered in his first at-bat off the IL