19 April, 2006

MLB debut - Fernando Nieve

In the same 4 April Florida-Houston game mentioned below, the 'Stros young reliever Fernando Nieve made his MLB debut to mop up the ninth inning. Nieve allowed a hit and a run, walking one.

The Venezuelan is a product of the Astros scouting and development system in Latin America signing as a 16 year old. Nieve has the makeup of a solid middle reliever with the possibility of converting to a closer. He throws a hard riding four seam fastball and has adequate breaking stuff. He rarely throws an off-speed pitch, preferring to mow down batters.

He has completed 7 Minor League season almost exclusively as a starter tough he will be no better than a swingman for the big club. The lanky righthander should have a decent if unspectacular career probably bouncing from club to club.

His Minor League K/IP and K/BB ratios are above average, but he can be hittable. Splitting between Round Rock (AAA) and Corpus Christi (AA) in 2005, Nieve made 27 starts with 2 shutouts. He earned all-star honours in the Texas League and a call up for the MLB Futures Game.

(He did get a start on 15 April in place of the disabled Backe.)

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