In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.
Odrisamer Despaigne’s Background
Acquired: Originally signed by the Padres as a non-drafted free agent in May of 2014. Signed by the Reds in January of 2019 to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
Height/Weight: 6′ 0″ / 200 lbs
Years of MLB Experience: Five
Born in Cuba, Odrisamer Despaigne didn’t have the easiest path to the Major Leagues. From age 18 through 25 he pitched in the Cuban professional league with varying degrees of success. He left Cuba after the 2012-2013 season. On May 5th of 2014 he signed with the San Diego Padres. After a month in the minor leagues he joined their big league club.
Odrisamer Despaigne’s 2018 Season
The season began for Odrisamer Despaigne in a way that was unexpected, pitching the 17th inning against the Chicago Cubs on March 30th. He would START the next day. He would head back to the bullpen for April before hitting the disabled list three weeks later. The right-hander made a rehab appearance on May 16th and returned to the Marlins big league roster on the 25th. That didn’t last long, as three appearances later he was sent to Triple-A. He stayed there from June through August 14th when he was sold to the Los Angeles Angels. They called him up to the Major Leagues where he would split time starting and relieving for them the rest of the season. For the year, between his time with Miami and Los Angeles his ERA was 6.69 in 39.0 innings.
Odrisamer Despaigne’s Playing History
In eight seasons in the Cuban professional leagues, Odrisamer Despaigne had a 3.73 ERA in 869.1 innings, splitting time between the rotation (98 starts) and the bullpen (103 appearances). He made his way to the United States after the 2012-2013 season in Cuba and after missing the 2013 season, he joined the Padres organization in May of 2014. The 27-year-old had success for the Padres in that season. His ERA+ was 101, making his run prevention league average in his 96.1 innings pitched. He’s struggled, for the most part, since. In 2015 his ERA jumped up to 5.80, and in 2016 it was 5.93. He did rebound with the Marlins in 2017, at least in terms of ERA. He posted a 4.01 mark in 58.1 innings, but he did it mostly with smoke-and-mirrors as he maned just 31 strikeouts with 24 walks that season. Things came crashing back to Earth in 2018 as the bad peripherals caught up with him and he posted the worst ERA of his career.
Projecting Odrisamer Despaigne for 2019
It’s interesting to see that Steamer didn’t project Odrisamer Despainge for the 2019 season given his long history in the Major Leagues. But ZiPS and Marcels did. Both see him as a below-average pitcher in 2019.
How could Odrisamer Despaigne fit in Cincinnati in 2019?
While there’s a track record of pitching in the Major Leagues in each of the last five seasons, it’s not exactly the greatest track record. With the amount of pitching depth that the team has, at least entering the spring, Odrisamer Despaigne seems like he’s going to be on the outside looking in. He could provide some depth in the minor leagues as a potential call up later in the season if injuries take their toll in either the rotation or the bullpen. It’s tough to see where he changes where he stands in the pecking order in the spring without a very big step forward from where he’s been, stuff wise, over the course of his career.