Harry Pavlidus, of BtB, has an excellent post up about whose stuff is better, Paulino or Nieve? He breaks it down in a myriad of different ways using both pitchers admittedly limited pitch/fx data. Interestingly enough, he comes out in favor of Nieve because of his ability to minimize mistakes. Paulino is given credit for his agressiveness and speed, but I recall those appearances coming mainly in relief, so I discount those remarks slightly.
That makes Nieve's decision to pitch in the WBC even more frustrating because of all the years we could use a young pitcher with some upside, it's this one. I am as excited about the nationalistic feveror which could potentially surrond this event as the next guy, but I don't see how Nieve could possibly consider jeopradizing his entire professional career for this event. It's probably stupid for me to even speculate about this, but I wonder if the Astros brass has made it clear to Nieve just how much he's risking by doing this? Not only is Nieve risking not making the team, but he's also putting a lot of unneeded strain on an arm that's still on the way back from Tommy John. It's just illogical.
The worst part about it, is that the Astros could potentially break camp with the lesser of our two young (in a relative sense) pitcher's because they won't get to look at one of them for three weeks. Although Paulino clearly has more upside in him because of his lack of experience, it'd be nice to at least have them competeting against each other for a shot in the rotation. But, as I've muttered to myself many times this off season: C'est la vie.