Unlike many failed starting pitchers who become relievers, Vidal Nuno hasn't enjoyed the typical bump in velocity. Although he touches the low 90s, he's proving effective as a painter. Compare his peripherals as a starter (6.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9) to those as a reliever (8.5 K/9, 1.8 BB/9), and it's easy to see why no club wants him as a starting pitcher anymore. Keeping him in a relief role would minimize the damage done by his tendency to allow more flyballs than average. He could make starts in an emergency, but that shouldn't excite anyone into picking him up for those innings. The lefty is likelier to be used as a multi-innings mop-up role than anything else. He hasn't been able to translate his great peripherals into a helpful ERA as a reliever. Fantasy players could consider him in holds leagues, but little else is likely to come his way.
Nuno will report to camp either Wednesday or Thursday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. The uncertainty surrounding the exact day Nuno will arrive at camp is simply because his flight is scheduled to arrive late Tuesday, so he may have Wednesday to rest. Nuno left spring training to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched 1.2 innings over two games at the WBC, during which he allowed two runs.
Nuno has a leg up on the competition for one of the team's remaining bullpen jobs, SB Nation reports. With the team in need for a left-handed reliever, Nuno appears to have the inside track to an Opening Day role with the Orioles. The 29-year-old has a decent 19.5 percent strikeout rate to go along with a great 6.1 percent walk rate throughout his career. On the other hand, he struggles against righties (.344 career BAA) and has troubles keeping the ball on the ground (38.6 percent career ground ball rate). That said, Nuno has experience and is well-suited to fill a long-relief role for the MLB club in 2017.
Nuno agreed to a one-year, $1.125 million deal with the Dodgers on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports. While he represents important left-handed bullpen depth, Nuno is not guaranteed a spot on the 25-man roster out of camp. Grant Dayton, Alex Wood and Luis Avilan may all be ahead of him in the pecking order of lefty relievers entering spring training.
Nuno was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for catcher Carlos Ruiz on Monday. Nuno enjoyed a decent 2016 campaign out of the Mariners bullpen thanks to outstanding control, although his propensity to give up home runs pushed his ERA up to 3.53 by the season's conclusion. It's unclear where (or if) the left-hander will fit into the Dodgers pitching given the plethora of lefties already residing in their rotation and bullpen, but Nuno will likely have a fair shot to compete for a bullpen role out of spring training.
Nuno was drilled for 10 hits and six runs in three innings of relief Saturday at the White Sox. He struck out three. The Mariners were down, 3-1, when Nuno entered, but he allowed the game to get ugly quickly with a four-spot in the fifth inning. He gave up three home runs, a triple and a double. Nuno had allowed two runs (and one homer) in his previous 18 outings covering 15 innings. It wasn't his night Saturday.