In an attempt to woo Shohei Ohtani to Seattle this offseason, the Mariners traded Thyago Vieira to the White Sox in exchange for $500,000 of International Bonus Pool Money. Vieira, a flame-throwing right-hander, arrived with red flags. He provided little evidence of commanding his 99+ MPH heater; but at 24 years old, he’s worth taking a risk on.
The White Sox have a history of coaching up and developing talented arms with a poor track record (Bobby Jenks, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak, even Estaban Loaiza(pre-drug kingpin)). So, a guy like Vieira makes perfect sense and what do you know? Look who’s turning the corner.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 14, 2018
The most impressive number shown here is the zero walks. The name of the game with Vieira is command, command, command. His stuff is not the issue. He mixes in a decent curveball with his ++ fastball which can be a really effective combo at the big league level.
The Sox bullpen has been bad. I’m talking really bad. They currently rank last in the MLB in strikeouts. They have walked the second most batters in baseball, trailing only Atlanta and have the second-worst ERA (5.41) behind our dear friends in Kansas City.
It will not be long before we see Vieira if he continues to perform at this level. He would not only provide a jolt to the bullpen but it will also give him the chance to work directly with Don Cooper. Coop is regarded as one of the top pitching coaches in baseball. More time spent with Coop will pay dividends for Vieira.