RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: September 26, 1984
Signed: Int’l free agent, 2002 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Waiver claim (from Braves)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: InnerArtists Management
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Obispo’s career hasn’t exactly followed a typical path. The Red Sox signed him as a shortstop back in 2002. They released him the next year, but the Reds signed him and moved him to the mound. They were impressed with his arm and considered him a good prospect. They weren’t able to bring him to the US, however, because he was involved in a marriage scam and couldn’t get a visa. The Reds finally released him in 2007 and he went to Japan. He signed with the Reds for 2012, became a minor league free agent after the season, then signed with the Braves. Atlanta added him to the 40-man roster after the 2013 season, but designated him for assignment at the end of May 2014 when they called up reliever Shae Simmons. The Pirates claimed him the same day they traded Bryan Morris.
According to various reports, Obispo’s fastball ranges from 93-97. He also throws a hard slider. He has an eccentric motion, though, and has struggled to throw strikes. He had a huge platoon split in 2012, but none at all in 2013.
As a 17-year-old, Obispo didn’t hit much in his debut season.
Obispo didn’t play all year and the Sox released him after the season.
The Reds moved Obispo to the mound and he made an impression right away, striking out a lot of batters, albeit with control problems.
The Reds had to send Obispo back to the DSL due to his visa problems. He improved his control and pitched better overall.
Still in the DSL, Obispo became a starter full-time and continued to improve.
The Reds finally gave up due to Obispo’s visa problems and released him during spring training. He signed with Yomiuri. He spent much of his time in Japan in their minor leagues. In 2007, he got into two games with Yomiuri.
Obispo missed the season due to shoulder problems.
Obispo got into 14 games with Yomiuri, including seven starts, and pitched impressively.
Yomiuri again used Obispo in 14 games and seven starts, but he had far less success.
Obispo appeared in only two games for Yomiuri.
The Reds signed Obispo and sent him to AA to open the season. He pitched well there in relief and the Reds moved him up to AAA in mid-May. He struggled at the higher level, especially with the strike zone, and went back to AA after about five weeks. He continued to dominate there and moved to the rotation late in the season, making 13 starts total, including three in AAA. The Reds did not add him to their 40-man roster and he became a free agent after the season.
The Braves signed Obispo and sent him to AAA to work strictly as a reliever. He pitched well, holding opponents to a .204 average and striking out well over a batter an inning. Obviously, he had control issues. The Braves added him to their 40-man after the season.
Obispo went back to AAA and didn’t pitch as well as the previous year, although he continued to post a high K rate. The Braves removed him from the roster so they could call up a different reliever. Obispo mostly pitched well for Indianapolis, albeit with continuing control problems, but the Pirates designated him for assignment in August when they claimed Ramon Cabrera off waivers. He was not claimed and the team outrighted him to Indianapolis.
Obispo remains an interesting pitcher due to his ability to miss bats and, despite turning 30 late in the 2014 season, he doesn’t have all that much experience as a pitcher. Still, he’ll be a free agent and so is likely to move on.
|2014: Major League Minimum|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2002
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: 2020
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/1/13
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2014)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|January 20, 2002: Signed by the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent.
November 3, 2003: Released by the Boston Red Sox.
January 23, 2004: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
March 12, 2007: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.
February 2, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
November 5, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Atlanta Braves.
November 1, 2013: Contract purchased by the Atlanta Braves.
May 31, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves.
June 1, 2014: Claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Atlanta Braves.
August 13, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on August 21.