August 25, 2010

Ohlendorf Out For Season

Although there was no official announcement, Ross Ohlendorf told several media members he expects to be out for the season. According to an MRI he strained a muscle in his shoulder during Monday's game. It's also possible he got hurt in warm-ups as Ross's velocity was down from the first pitch.

With the team's record at 42-84 there is really no reason to bring Ohlendorf back from the injury in September. It's better to just have him start next season at full strength.

It's hard to say whether Ross Ohlendorf had a good year or not. He ends the season 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA. He allowed 8.8 hits and 3.7 walks per nine innings with 6.6 strikeouts - more of all three than in 2009. I am optimistic about his future based on this: in July and August Ohlendorf was much more overpowering than at any point in his career with 42 strikeouts in 47 innings. He was also throwing a harder fastball that was consistently 92 or 93 mph instead of 90-91. He's a candidate to start on Opening Day 2011.

Daniel McCutchen (1-5, 6.65) will take Ohlendorf's spot in the rotation and will actually pitch tonight instead of Jeff Karstens. Karstens was scratched from the start with arm fatigue and is expected to make his next start.

McCutchen last started a game July 31 but earned another shot with a 1.93 ERA in eight relief appearances this month. His stats are still ugly but actually since his first three starts of the season, D-Cutch has a 3.90 ERA for the Pirates.

If Karstens is not available by Saturday, the likely starter is Charlie Morton, who is 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA at Indianapolis. He has a 1.50 ERA over his last four games. Morton is also giving up more than a hit an inning at AAA and is just too hittable to pitch in the majors. I certainly hope at least one free agent starter is signed so we don't see him in a position battle for the fifth starter spot out of spring training.

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