Carlos Villanueva (baseball)

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Carlos Villanueva
Carlos Villanueva on April 30, 2015.jpg
Villanueva with the St. Louis Cardinals
Free agent
Born: (1983-11-28) November 28, 1983 (age 35)
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 23, 2006, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Win–loss record 49–53
Earned run average 4.18
Strikeouts 801
WHIP 1.28

Carlos Manuel Villanueva Paulino (born November 28, 1983) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

Baseball career

Milwaukee Brewers

Villanueva was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 2002.[1] He and Glenn Woolard were traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on March 30, 2004, for pitchers Wayne Franklin and Leo Estrella. He joined the Beloit Snappers, the Brewers Single A club.[2][3]

As he worked his way through the Brewers' farm system, Villanueva was called up to the Brewers from Double-A Huntsville on May 22, 2006. He made his Major League debut against the Cincinnati Reds on May 23, 2006, pitching a scoreless inning. After being optioned back to the minors, Villanueva was recalled again, making his first career Major League start for the Brewers against the Cincinnati Reds.

Villanueva pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009

After a successful 2006 campaign, Villanueva entered the 2007 spring training in competition for the Brewers fifth spot in the starting rotation. Despite pitching well, he lost the job to Claudio Vargas. Instead, manager Ned Yost elected to put Villanueva into the bullpen as a middle relief pitcher. Villanueva pitched well in his new role and was occasionally used as a long relief pitcher when Elmer Dessens was placed on the DL. On July 2, Villanueva was 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA. Despite his record, Villanueva was accustomed to only being used as a starting pitcher, and had never appeared in more than 25 games in his professional career. Through July and August, he posted a 1-3 record with an ERA of over 9, perhaps a sign of being overworked. Despite his struggles, he was still being used as a middle relief pitcher. On August 20, after pitching 3 perfect innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks and picking up his first career save, he was optioned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds to make two starts to "polish up" for a September call up when the rosters expand.

Villanueva spent a short part of the 2009 season as the closer while Trevor Hoffman recovered on the disabled list;[4] however, after poor performances, the role was given to Todd Coffey instead.[5]

Toronto Blue Jays

On December 3, 2010, Villanueva was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later (cash).[6]

Villanueva during his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012

After starting the season in the bullpen for the Blue Jays, he was moved to a position in the starting rotation to fill in for open spots previously filled by Brett Cecil and Jesse Litsch. On August 4, 2011, Villanueva was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain. Villanueva was re-activated from the disabled list on August 31. Brian Tallet was designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva.[7] Villanueva began the 2012 season as the long reliever in the Jays' bullpen, but was promoted to a starter after numerous injuries to the pitching staff. After posting a 6-1 record, Villanueva left the team for personal reasons on August 5. J. A. Happ started in place of Villanueva.[8]

Chicago Cubs

On December 19, 2012, it was reported that Villanueva had agreed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.[9] The deal became official on January 26, 2013, more than a month after it was initially agreed upon. Lendy Castillo was designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva on the 40-man roster. Dale Sveum made Villanueva the Cubs fifth starter in their rotation.[10] His first game on April 6, a road game against the Atlanta Braves, resulted in a no decision.[11]

St. Louis Cardinals

On February 4, 2015, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Villanueva to a minor league contract that included an invitation to spring training.[12] The Cardinals added him to their 40-man roster on March 30.[13] On June 27, he pitched the last three innings of an 8–1 victory over the Cubs for his first save of the season,[14] and did so again on August 7 against the Brewers in a 6–0 win.[15] It was his fourth[14] and fifth career save of at least three innings.


  1. Eymer, Rick (March 2, 2013). "Sandoval homers in Giants win". Associated Press. Retrieved February 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Callis, Jim (March 30, 2004). "Giants shore up pitching with Franklin, Estrella". Baseball America. Retrieved February 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Giants acquire Franklin and Estrella from Milwaukee for 2 minor leaguers". March 30, 2004. Retrieved February 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. McCalvy, Adam. Hoffman getting closer to mound work, Milwaukee Brewers. Published April 11, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2009.
  5. Coffey closing, but cool with any role, Milwaukee Brewers. Published April 23, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2009.
  6. Chisholm, Gregor (December 3, 2010). "Blue Jays acquire Villanueva from Brewers". Retrieved December 4, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Jays activate Villanueva, designate Tallet for assignment". August 31, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Fletcher, Jeff (August 5, 2012). "Blue Jays move up Happ as Villanueva takes leave". Retrieved August 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Snyder, Matt. "Cubs, Carlos Villanueva agree to 2-year, 10 million deal". Retrieved December 19, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Yellon, Al (January 26, 2013). "Carlos Villanueva Deal Official, Lendy Castillo DFAd". Retrieved January 26, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Sheldon, Mark (February 4, 2015). "Cards add righty Villanueva on Minor League deal". Retrieved February 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. White, R.J. (March 30, 2015). "Cardinals add Carlos Villanueva, place Jaime Garcia on DL". Retrieved March 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 Muskrat, Carrie; Langosch, Jenifer (June 27, 2015). "Cards put on clinic vs. Cubs for 5th straight W". Retrieved June 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Curry, Brandon (August 8, 2015). "Lynn continues Cards' strong run of pitching". Retrieved August 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links