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Eddie Oropesa

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2001 Phillies Team Issue #54 Eddie Oropesa

Edilberto Oropesa Guasch

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Eddie Oropesa pitched for five years in the Cuban Serie Nacional, 12 years in the USA, one year in Mexico and has taken his arm to the Netherlands for 2007.

[edit] Cuba

Oropesa went 20-26 with a 4.42 ERA for Matanzas in five years in the Cuban Serie Nacional, walking 267 and striking out 162 in 440 IP while allowing a .287 average. In the 1990-1991 season, he led the league with 61 walks. The next year, the Cirtricultores hurler was even more spotty, leading the league in several negative categories - hits allowed (105), walks (50) and intentional walks (9).

His career unimpressive, he was a member of the Cuban national team that won the 1993 World University Games. While at Sal Maglie Field in Niagara Falls, NY, Oropesa jumped over a fence and got into a car with a relative to go to Miami, FL with the hopes of achieving politicial asylm. A couple days prior, teammate Rey Ordonez had also "jumped ship".

[edit] 1993: Northern League

Signed by the St. Paul Saints, Eddie went 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA, allowing only 6 hits in 19 IP while striking out 19, glad to be facing independent league ball after all those years against tough Cuban competition. He was St. Paul's most successful hurler that year, outperforming the likes of Mike Mimbs and Paul Marak.

[edit] 1994-1996: LA farmhand

Oropesa was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 14th round of the 1994 amateur draft. Assigned to the Vero Beach Dodgers, the submariner had an effective 4-3, 2.13 record in 19 games. Had he qualified, he would have ranked second in the Florida State League in ERA.

During the 1994-1995 strike, Oropesa served as a replacement player for the Dodgers in spring training, joining Matt Herges in the bullpen.

Oropesa pitched at three levels in 1995. With Vero Beach, he was 3-1 with one save and a 3.81 ERA in 19 appearances. He saved his only game for the San Bernardino Stampede, pitching a hitless inning. With the San Antonio Missions, he had a 1-1 record in 16 games, with a 3.12 ERA and one save.

Returning to San Bernardino (now the San Bernardino Spirit) in 1996, Oropesa went 11-6 with one save and a 3.34 ERA, tying Dennys Reyes for the team lead in wins. He struck out 133 in 156 1/3 IP, walking 77 and allowing 133 hits. He finished second in the California League in ERA behind Darin Blood.

[edit] 1997-2000: Giants system

The San Francisco Giants chose Oropesa in the minor league phase of the 1996 Rule V Draft that winter. In 1997, Eddie pitched 43 games for the Shreveport Captains, with a 7-7, 3.92 record. He led the Texas League with six balks but finished 5th in the high-scoring TL in ERA.

At age 26, Oropesa returned to Shreveport, slumping to 7-11 despite a 3.78 ERA. He moved up to fourth in the Texas League in ERA. He also spent part of the year with the Chinese Professional Baseball League, with a 0-2 record, one save and a 6.28 ERA in 8 games for the President Lions.

He finally made it to AAA in 1999, going 6-5 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) for the Fresno Grizzlies. He made two rehab appearances with the Bakersfield Blaze, winning both. He tied for the Pacific Coast League in balks (4, even with Robinson Checo). He also appeared in the Mexican League, going 0-4 with a 7.06 ERA for the Reynosa Broncos.

Back in Shreveport for 2000, Oropesa was the club's most-used relief pitcher, appearing in 59 games. He struck out 76 in 76 1/3 IP, walking 40 and allowing a .238 average. He went 2-4 with 4 saves and a 3.07 ERA. He tied Bert Snow for the Texas League lead in games pitched. Had he qualified, he would have ranked fourth in the league in ERA.

[edit] 2001-2004: The majors

Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in the off-season, Oropesa opened the year with the major league team after 13 years in baseball. His first game gave a taste of the type of action he would see. On April 2, he relieved Ricky Bottalico and got Cliff Floyd to foul out. He was then replaced by Wayne Gomes, having thrown two pitches. Overall, Oropesa made 30 appearances, but only lasted 19 innings. The LOOGY battled control problems, walking 17, and went 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA. He made a couple appearances in the minors - with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, Edilberto went 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 14 games. He also threw two scoreless innings for the Clearwater Phillies. Oropesa was the most-used left-handed relief pitcher on the 2001 Phillies.

In 2002, Oropesa moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent and split the year between AAA and the majors. For the Tucson Sidewinders, he was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 29 games, while in 32 games for the 2002 Diamondbacks, he allowed a .348 average and 10.30 ERA, yet somehow went 2-0.

Oropesa repeated the same two stops in 2003, with better results. He had a 0-1, 2.35 record in 15 games for Tucson and went 3-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 47 games as a LOOGY for the 2003 Diamondbacks. He struck out 39 in 38 2/3 IP, but walked 27.

Oropesa was picked up by the San Diego Padres for 2004. The 32-year-old had a 3-3, 2.31 record with one save for the Portland Beavers, holding opponents to a .185 average and whiffing 55 in 46 2/3 innings. For the 2004 Padres, though, he walked 13 in 9 innings and had a 11.00 ERA, yet managed a 2-1 record.

Overall, Oropesa had been 8-4 with a 7.34 ERA in the major leagues. In 125 games, he pitched 92 innings. Control was the biggest issue, as he walked 72 batters.

[edit] 2005-2006: Back to the farm

The Chicago Cubs signed Oropesa for 2005 but 7 games at AAA in which he had a 7.36 ERA, 0-1 record, walked 7 in 7 1/3 IP and allowed a .375 average made the Cubs bid him farewell.

Oropesa was then signed by the Tabasco Olmecas. In 26 games (24 2/3 IP) for them, he went 0-2 with 2 saves and a 2.92 ERA, but walked 18. After Fernando Desgue, though, he had the club's second-lowest ERA.

That effort got him signed again, this time by the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched 5 late-season games for the Ottawa Lynx, allowing no runs in 6 IP with 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.

In 2006, Eddie pitched four games back in the Northern League after a 12-year absence. The remnant from the early days of the independent leagues pitched four times, going 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA.

[edit] 2007: Netherlands

Oropesa signed with Sparta/Feyenoord in May of 2007. He became the third former Major Leaguer to sign with a team in Hoofdklasse Honkbal, following Stan Bahnsen (1992) and Calvin Maduro (2004). He debuted on May 19, beating the Amsterdam Pirates, 4-2. He allowed two runs (1 earned) in six innings, allowing four walks and six hits. Oropesa went 3-5 with a 2.36 ERA in 2007. He allowed only 50 hits in 72 1/3 IP and struck out 61. Despite being 4th in lowest opponent average (.193) and sixth in lowest opponent OBP (.273), he was only 14th in ERA. He tied Leon Boyd for sixth in strikeouts.

Oropesa was expected to return to Sparta/Feyenoord for 2008 but family circumstances prevented him from playing in the Netherlands; he helped arrange for former Mets farmhand Arístides Almenar to replace him on the roster.

[edit] Sources

1994-2007 Baseball Almanacs, Honkbalsite.com, Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site, 2006 Baseball Guide, 2005 Guia Official de Beisbol

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