Results tagged ‘ Ross Ohlendorf ’

Game 37: Dodgers (17-20) @ Pirates (18-18)

Jenifer Langosch/

In case you missed it earlier, the Pirates made two roster moves prior to Wednesday’s game. Jose Ascanio was reinstated from the DL and is here and available for Wednesday’s game. Mike Crotta was placed on the 15-day DL with right posterior elbow inflammation. More details on those moves can be found here.

More news and notes for the day:

  • UPDATE: Neil Walker was scratched from the lineup just before gametime due to flu-like symptoms. Ronny Cedeno took Walker’s place at second, while Brandon Wood stepped in to play short.
  • Jose Tabata is out of the lineup to take a day to work on specifics with his swing. It’s no secret the last few weeks have not been kind to Tabata, who was the most consistent hitter at the start of the season. Tabata’s season average has dropped to .226 as he has just nine hits in his last 67 at-bats.
  • Crotta said that he had been bothered by the elbow discomfort for about a week. He didn’t, however, let anyone know until after his outing last night. An MRI done on his elbow came out fine today, and maybe this is an explanation as to why Crotta was having so much trouble keeping his pitches down lately. Crotta is headed to Bradenton on Thursday, where he will remain to rehab his arm.
  • The plan is not to throw Ascanio into late-inning, high-leverage situations right away if at all possible. The Pirates would like to ease him into a bullpen role, particularly to see if his numbers during a Triple-A rehab stint are indicative of his command and stuff. Ascanio did not fare all that well in the rehab assignment, though sometimes those results can mean nothing. As Ascanio said on Wednesday, he starts with all zeroes now.
  • Chris Resop, who threw 41 pitches on Tuesday, is the only reliever not available for the Pirates tonight.
  • With Andrew McCutchen’s two homers last night, he sure looked like the No. 3 hitter manager Clint Hurdle envisioned heading into the season. To this point, though, Hurdle has no intention of moving McCutchen back down in the order. “He seems to be more comfortable now. His swing is playing right there. I’m going to leave him right there.”
  • If Hurdle did want to move McCutchen down in the order, who would he even be able to put in the leadoff spot, especially with Tabata struggling?
  • Ross Ohlendorf is not currently throwing — not off the mound, not off flat ground. After throwing his session of live batting practice on Friday, Ohlendorf felt some shoulder soreness and opted to take a few days off to rest his arm. He said he expects to resume throwing in Milwaukee. Ohlendorf’s timetable just keeps getting pushed back by one thing after another. I don’t see any way he is back by the end of the month.
  • Evan Meek said he felt good during a 25-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday. He’ll play catch on Thursday, long toss Friday and throw another side session on Saturday. Then he’ll head out to Triple-A Indianapolis for two rehab appearances.
  • Brian Burres was a hard-luck loser in Triple-A Indianapolis’ game earlier today. Burres allowed only one run on four hits in seven innings, but Indianapolis’ offense never scored.
  • Altoona, on the other hand, had a huge offensive day in their morning contest. The Curve scored 13 runs for starter Jeff Locke, who allowed two runs in six innings. Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer and Miles Durham all had three hits in the win. Mercer had two homers and drove in five.
  • The Pirates have brought back their “You Score as the Bucs Score promotion” for this weekend’s series against the Brewers. For those who are unfamiliar with how the promotion works, all the details can be found here. The discounted tickets are for the upcoming series against the Tigers (May 20-22). Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke will both be pitching for Milwaukee during that series.
  • General manager Neal Huntington will hold a chat with readers at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. The chat was initially scheduled for Wednesday, so sorry for any confusion.


PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), X. Paul (LF), G. Jones (RF), L . Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), P. Alvarez (3B), B. Wood (SS), R. Cedeno (2B), P. Maholm (LHP)

DODGERS: J. Carroll (SS), I. DeJesue (2B), A. Ethier (RF), M. Kemp (CF), J. Uribe (3B), R. Barajas (C), J. Sands (LF), R. Mitchell (1B), H. Kuroda (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 31: Pirates (14-16) @ Padres (12-18)

Jenifer Langosch/

I wasn’t covering the game last night, but I found one post-game comment from manager Clint Hurdle particularly interesting and figured we could revisit it briefly. Asked about Brandon Wood’s attempt to move to third with one out on a ball in the dirt, Hurdle had this to say (by the way, Wood was thrown out): “You’re already in scoring position. If you’re safe, we’re happy, but he pushed the envelope a little bit and the catcher made a nice play. It put a damper on an inning with a chance to tie it.”

Maybe it’s not the smartest decision that could have been made, but I certainly saw more of a benefit of trying to be aggressive in this instance than the one lauded by Hurdle on Easter Sunday — you remember, Andrew McCutchen trying to score on a sacrifice fly with the team down by three. If Wood had been able to make it to third, there would have been a number of ways for him to score the tying run.

As it turns out, neither baserunning decision looked all that sensible because of the outcome. Hurdle will continue to preach aggressive baserunning. Moving forward, though, it will be interesting to see which instances he praises and which he criticizes.

A few news and notes…

  • Outfielder John Bowker has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Know that this is not what Bowker wanted. He made it plenty clear the night he was told he was being sent out that he was hoping to be picked up by another club. Turns out he’s now additional outfield depth for the Pirates, who already have Alex Presley, Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew Lambo in Triple-A.
  • Pedro Alvarez is not in Wednesday’s starting lineup. He exited Tuesday’s game with tightness in his right quad and said there was enough tightness still on Wednesday not to want to test it with any exercises.
  • Outfielder Jose Tabata was out running sprints and routes in the outfield this afternoon — certainly a good sign for as he tries to make his way back from hamstring tightness. Tabata will be available “in a limited role” for Wednesday’s game, Hurdle said.
  • For anyone who might have watched Tuesday’s game and is curious, the bunt down the third base line that neither Joe Beimel or Wood went for late in the game was supposed to be Wood’s ball. The infielders had been told on a mound meeting just before the bunt that the play was to go to first. And the coverage was yelled from the dugout right after. “For whatever reason, when the ball was hit, he took a step back and went to the base,” Hurdle said. “He missed his coverage. There was no way to make any excuses for him.”
  • Righty Ross Ohlendorf will throw another session of live batting practice on Friday, and, assuming all goes well, then move onto a Minor League rehab start. The club hasn’t announced how many rehab outings are in order for Ohlendorf, but given his time missed, I’d expect it to be at least two.
  • Today is a homecoming of sorts for Kevin Correia — though he is entirely downplaying his first start back at PETCO Park since leaving the Padres. You can read his thoughts here.
  • This afternoon’s Pirates-Padres game (6:35 pm ET start) is the MLB.TV free game of the day. So if you’re not in the Pittsburgh market and rarely get to see the Pirates live, today is your chance.
  • If you’re interested here is the feature column I wrote on San Francisco hitting coach Bam Bam Meulens for Many of you might remember that Meulens served as a hitting instructor in the Pirates’ Minor League system for a few years. And if that’s not reason enough for you to want to read, maybe this will be: Bam Bam is going to be an astronaut.


PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), X. Paul (LF), M. Diaz (RF), N. Walker (2B), S. Pearce (1B), R. Doumit (C), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

PADRES: J. Bartlett (SS), W. Venable (RF), R. Ludwick (LF), C. Headley (3B), C. Maybin (CF), B. Hawpe (1B), N. Hundley (C), E. Patterson (2B), C. Richard (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 30: Pirates (14-15) @ Padres (11-18)

Jenifer Langosch/

A quick note on coverage for tonight’s game. I am at PETCO Park, but I will not be taking care of game coverage (pre or post). Don’t worry — you’ll have plenty to read. It just won’t be with my byline.

As you may or may not have noticed, I have also been doubling as a part-time columnist for, writing columns on various teams, players and topics since late in the 2010 season. While I very much enjoy getting to cover unique stories from other clubhouses, I have to make time for the reporting and writing involved. As a result, from time to time I will take a day to devote to column and feature writing.

Tonight, actually, I’ll be finishing up a column for tomorrow (you should remember the subject, as he has ties to the Pirates) and writing a Pirates feature for Thursday. I was also able to spend some time in the Padres clubhouse this afternoon to collect material for an upcoming Pirates story. That’s your tease…

I can still give you a few new and notes for the day even though I did not sit in on manager Clint Hurdle’s media session:

  • Ross Ohlendorf threw live batting practice on Tuesday to a handful of hitters. He seemed to have no issue during the session, though check back at later tonight for full details on his own assessment.
  • Outfielder Jose Tabata is not in the lineup again tonight. Hurdle had said that Tabata would be re-evaluated today, so there should be some news on that later.
  • Brandon Wood was out taking grounders at second base this afternoon. The Pirates said they wanted the infielder to get some work at the position so that the club can evaluate whether Wood could be a future option there.
  • Let me direct your attention to a new prospect feature. It’ll be very handy for those of you who like to keep up with the organization’s best Minor Leaguers. The link is here, and you can sort based on’s top 50 overall prospects, top 10 prospects by position,  or top 10 lists by team.
  • Owner Bob Nutting will be in attendance tonight with some family members.
  • Lefty Rudy Owens was ejected from his start for Triple-A Indianapolis this afternoon. He allowed a three-run homer and hit the next batter, Chris Carter. Carter had already homered earlier in the game. Owens was ejected by the home plate umpire, ending his day after 2 1/3 innings.


PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), X. Paul (LF), G. Jones (RF), N. Walker (2B), L. Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), P. Alvarez (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), J. Karstens (RHP)

PADRES: J. Bartlett (SS), O. Hudson (2B), R. Ludwick (LF), J. Cantu (3B), C. Maybin (CF), B. Hawpe (1B), R. Johnson (C), W. Venable (RF), M. Latos (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 23: Giants (10-11) @ Pirates (10-12)

Jenifer Langosch/

The defending World Series champs are in town, which means former Pirates Freddy Sanchez and Javier Lopez are visiting for the next three days. Oh, and it’s been raining. Weather could be a factor each of the next two days.

News and notes…

  • In case you missed it, the Pirates claimed Xavier Paul off waivers today from the Dodgers. He’s an outfielder, so you’d have to think that either John Bowker or Steve Pearce are going to be on their way out soon. More on that here.
  • Paul is likely to arrive in Pittsburgh either Wednesday or Thursday. He has 72 hours to report, so technically he could also meet the team in Colorado on Friday.
  • Ross Ohlendorf will throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday. He threw from a distance of 120 feet today. Ohlendorf will throw 2-3 bullpens and then a live batting practice session. Once he gets through all those steps, he’ll begin a Minor League rehab assignment that will likely last one or two starts.
  • In case you missed it last night, it was confirmed that Jameson Taillon (No. 2 overall pick in 2010) will make his professional debut on Wednesday. He is joining the low-A West Virginia rotation. And as the schedule would have it, Taillon will be facing Bryce Harper’s Hagerstown team. So it’ll be No. 1 vs. No. 2.
  • Manager Clint Hurdle mentioned yesterday that he wanted to find a day off for Jose Tabata and Neil Walker pretty soon. For Tabata, that day ended up being Tuesday. Matt Diaz moves to left and Garrett Jones sticks in right. Walker’s day off will have to wait, though Brandon Wood is spelling Ronny Cedeno a day.
  • With his save on Monday, Joel Hanrahan is 6-for-6 in save opportunities this month. The last Pittsburgh closer with more than six April saves was Salomon Torres. He had eight in April 2007.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio (who was struck in the head by a line drive last Friday) returned to the mound for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. It was not a stellar outing (1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB), but certainly a good sign that he was OK after a scary incident.
  • All-Star ballots have been released and you can find more information on how to vote online here. This year’s game will be played in Phoenix.


PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), M. Diaz (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), G. Jones (RF), R. Doumit (C), P. Alvarez (3B), B. Wood (SS), C. Morton (RHP)

GIANTS: A. Rowand (CF), F. Sanchez (2B), A. Huff (1B), B. Posey (C), P. Sandoval (3B), P. Burrell (LF), C. Ross (RF), M. Tejada (SS), M. Cain (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 21: Nationals (9-10) @ Pirates (9-11)

Jenifer Langosch/

One of these days, I will speak glowingly about the Pittsburgh weather (probably in June). For the moment, though, I have nothing nice to say. Which means I won’t say anything at all.

Some more positive Easter morning thoughts…

  • After last night’s game, Nationals starter Livan Hernandez made comments inferring that the Pirates purposefully didn’t let him know about an 8:15 pm start time early enough for him to appropriately get ready. My reaction to hearing this? Sounds much more like an excuse than anything newsworthy. And here’s why… It was announced in the press box and stadium 30 minutes before the start (which ended up being 8:16 pm) that the game would start at about 8:15. Furthermore, Jeff Karstens said (unsolicited) afterward that he was woken up from a nap about 30 minutes before the game’s scheduled start time. In other words, the same time the press box and fans got an announcement about a start time, so, too, did Karstens. How Hernandez could have missed a memo that went out to everyone else in the vicinity of the ballpark doesn’t necessarily appear to be the fault of the Pirates. My guess? Had Hernandez not given up five runs in the first, he wouldn’t have said a word. Instead, we get much ado about nothing.
  • Speaking of Karstens, he looks to be the guy who will continue to fill in for Ross Ohlendorf. The Pirates considered other options before going with Karstens the last two times through the rotation. But given his performance on Saturday, Karstens has given the Pirates no reason but to continue sticking with him.
  • Evan Meek has quietly made six scoreless relief appearances. One factor maybe not brought up enough earlier this month when Meek was struggling is that the guy has been sick almost since the start of the season. Between having a tough time fighting a virus (though Meek appears healthy now) and some missed time with shoulder tightness, Meek never got much of a chance to settle in. Maybe he is finally doing so now.
  • Speaking of the bullpen, the group as a whole has been tremendous lately. In the ‘pen’s last 20 innings, it has allowed two earned runs. Overall, the bullpen’s 2.56 season ERA ranks fourth in the National League.
  • Joe Beimel’s one-inning appearance on Saturday was his first as a Pirate at PNC Park since September 21, 2003.
  • Look for more on Andrew McCutchen stealing bases and Chris Resop’s strong start in the Pirates Beat on the main site later this afternoon.


PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), G. Jones (RF), P. Alvarez (3B), C. Snyder (C), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

NATIONALS: D. Espinosa (2B), R. Ankiel (CF), J. Werth (RF), A. LaRoche (1B), M. Morse (LF), J. Hairston (3B), I. Rodriguez (C), A. Cora (SS), J. Marquis (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Ohlendorf to DL; McCutchen recalled

Jenifer Langosch/

Pittsburgh has recalled right-hander Daniel McCutchen from Triple-A Indianapolis and placed Ross Ohlendorf on the disabled list with a right shoulder posterior strain. This isn’t much of a surprise, given that the Pirates had to get a pitcher up here after Friday’s 14-inning marathon.

McCutchen would give the Pirates a length option out of the bullpen on Saturday if Charlie Morton is unable to go deep. I suspect that Chris Resop, Garrett Olson and Jeff Karstens will all be unavailable after their workloads on Friday. Evan Meek is questionable due to right shoulder tightness. Once the clubhouse opens in a bit, more should be known about his status.

Ohlendorf’ left his start on Friday with soreness in the same area of his right shoulder that caused him to sit out the final 5-6 weeks in 2010. He said he doesn’t believe the injury is as serious this time, but the Pirates are going to have to wait and see on that one.

Manager Clint Hurdle should let us know later today who will step in to  fill Ohlendorf’s rotation spot, though my guess would be Karstens. He pitched well in relief of Ohlendorf on Friday and has shown an ability to step in and provide the team with quality starts in a pinch before.

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Ohlendorf exits with shoulder discomfort

Jenifer Langosch/ML

Ross Ohlendorf left Friday’s start against the Rockies with two out in the third due to discomfort in his right shoulder.

After inducing a deep fly ball out, Ohlendorf came off the mound and was met by head athletic trainer Brad Henderson near the third-base foul line. After a short consultation, Ohlendorf headed to the dugout and Jeff Karstens was called in from the bullpen.

Ohlendorf exited with the Pirates trailing, 3-0. Colorado scored all of its runs in the first when Jason Giambi followed a walk and infield hit with a blast over the right-field wall. Ohlendorf threw 30 pitches in that first inning, though he appeared to be settling in after the home run.

In the 2 2/3-inning outing, Ohlendorf threw 52 pitches, 31 of which were strikes.

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Game 3: Pirates (1-1) @ Cubs (1-1)

Jenifer Langosch/

If there’s something more intriguing about Sunday’s game than how Ross Ohlendorf performs, I am unaware of it. This is not make-or-break start — there is no such thing during the first week of the season. But it is significant in many ways, even if the Pirates refuse to label it as such.

Though Ohlendorf has said otherwise, the right-hander did not have a good spring. He couldn’t make it through five innings in any of his six starts, and the team lost all six games in which Ohlendorf pitched. I realize that Spring Training results often hold no significance, but Ohlendorf has had poor springs before and he has a tendency to then get off to slow starts.

The one thing that the coaching staff is going to control beginning on Sunday is how often Ohlendorf throws over to first to hold runners on. The right-hander worked extensively this spring to find ways to keep runners from stealing — be it by throwing to first, looking runners back or decreasing the time it takes for him to deliver the ball. All this is good (and encouraged by the coaching staff), but Ohlendorf appeared to let it become a distraction.

As a result, manager Clint Hurdle said that Ohlendorf will only be throwing to first when he gets a sign to. Otherwise, all focus will be on the hitter.

“He has gotten outside himself and, I think, pushed the envelope on this running game more than needs to be,” Hurdle said. “We just wanted him to cut and shave some small time off. We want his focus to be on the pitch. Yes, cut down the release time to a little degree, but Ross has taken it upon himself to sometimes continually throw over.  He knows he’s capable of improving things, but he seems to find a way to get locked into something and not let it go. We’ve had conversations since Spring Training. The focus is the next pitch. When you get a sign, you’ll throw over. If you don’t get a sign, you will not throw over. We need him to focus on throwing strikes and making his pitches.”

Other news and notes…

  • Andrew McCutchen was initially a “maybe” for the lineup on Sunday due to a sore neck — but after receiving treatment, he said he was good to go. McCutchen hurt his neck “diving on the cement out there” in the outfield trying to make a catch on Saturday.
  • It would have taken more than a sore neck to keep McCutchen out, as he has reached base safely in his last 18 games against the Cubs. During that span he’s hit .409 with nine extra-base hits, 12 RBIs, 13 walks and six stolen bases.
  • The Pirates have one more shot at sealing a series victory, which would be their first on the road since July 27-29. The club won just four road series all of last season, though two of those came at Wrigley Field.
  • And here’s a good one for you. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer printed its baseball season preview on Sunday and, well, omitted the Pirates altogether. See for yourself here. It’s up to you to guess whether this was by design or not. (Thanks to colleague @MLBastian for passing this picture along.)


PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), P. Alvarez (3B), M. Diaz (RF), J. Jaramillo (C), R. Cedeno (SS), R. Ohlendorf (RHP)

CUBS: S. Castro (SS), D. Barney (2B), M. Byrd (CF), A. Ramirez (3B), C. Pena (1B), G. Soto (C), A. Soriano (LF), T. Colvin (RF), M. Garza (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 2: Pirates (1-0) @ Cubs (0-1)

Jenifer Langosch/

I continue to get a number of questions about Clint Hurdle, specifically from people curious about how he differs from previous manager John Russell. I think their contrasting personalities have come across quite plainly in interviews or public appearances that Hurdle has made already. But let me also offer you this…

Hurdle is omnipresent in the clubhouse. He was at Wrigley Field to greet players (saying good morning or hello or whatever greeting he desired) as each player entered the clubhouse this morning. He sat with them to watch MLB Network highlights with his hat on backward and a bat in hands. He is constantly engaging in conversations with guys and very much a vocal presence.

He also showed little hesitancy in singling out Pedro Alvarez when asked about what went wrong on the two dropped pop-ups in the infield on Friday (more on that in today’s Beat on the main site later).

Hurdle has said he does not want to take over the clubhouse — which is the players’ quarters. But he’s not going to hide, he’s bound to keep his team accountable and he desires to have a relationship with his players.

Other news and notes…

  • Hurdle gave Neil Walker the umpires’ lineup card from Friday’s game as a memento for the second baseman’s big game. Speaking of Walker, he is now 17-for-36 in his career against Chicago with six doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs. Walker has hit safely in all 10 games he’s played against the Cubs.
  • Jason Jaramillo will start Sunday’s game, Hurdle said on Saturday. Hurdle had mentioned on Friday that he also wants to get Matt Diaz involved this series, so I’d expect to see him in Sunday’s lineup as well. Other than trying to get some of these bench guys involved early in the season, Hurdle intends to fiddle little with his lineup.
  • Has anyone forgotten that the Pirates went 17-64 on the road last year? That makes Friday’s road win that much more significant.
  • Interesting note on Paul Maholm, who makes the start on Saturday — he has made more starts (153) than any left-hander in the National League since the start of 2006. Look for Maholm to pitch inside today more than you might have seen him do so last year. It’s something the lefty focused on all spring.
  • Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will start the season finale on Sunday and he said he believes some tweaks he has made recently with pitching coach Ray Searage are going to help him get off to a strong start. Those adjustments involve getting a better line to home plate during his delivery (in other words, not letting his body get too rotational during his motion).


PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), P. Alvarez (3B), R. Doumit (C), G. Jones (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), P. Maholm (LHP)

CUBS: J. Baker (2B), S. Castro (SS), M. Byrd (CF), A. Ramirez (3B), G. Soto (C), C. Pena (1B), A. Soriano (LF), T. Colvin (RF), C. Zambrano (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Orioles 11, Pirates 7

Jenifer Langosch/

Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf lasted only 4 2/3 innings on Thursday night… meaning that he still has not been able to finish five innings in a spring outing. In comparison, Kevin Correia and Paul Maholm have already done so twice.

Ohlendorf has already been named No. 3 in the Pirates’ five-man rotation, so this isn’t a case where he is pitching for a spot on the roster. Rather, Ohlendorf is pitching to get himself ready for the season — and given his recent results, there still appears work to be done.

Ohlendorf gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks while on the mound against Baltimore. Two of his innings were strong; the other three, not so much. This comes, too, after the righty allowed 10 earned runs in his last two outings (five innings) combined.

His troubles on Thursday included giving up three home runs — one to Mark Reynolds, another to Luke Scott and the other to Felix Pie.

“It is still not as good as I would like it to be, but I still thought it was better than last time,” Ohlendorf said afterward. “I’ve been up in the zone too much. I feel like I was better today, but still not as good as I need to be. The fourth inning I was really happy with. The third inning, I thought, went pretty well. But I still need to pitch better.”

There has been a lack of efficiency, in particular, for Ohlendorf this spring. That’s the main reason why he has not been able to log as many innings as other starters in camp. Is it a concern that Ohlendorf has not yet finished five innings? He said no. Hurdle had this to say, when asked if there is concern about these struggles bleeding into the regular season:

“We’re going to find out when the regular season comes,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “All of us know the season is coming. Every starter knows his role. He’s got to give us length. It’s not so much the quantity as the quality that has to improve in his case. He’s aware of that. Once the bell rings, we’ll see where we go from there. He’s got work in front of him.”

Ohlendorf will have one more tune up before he takes the mound on Sunday, April 3, in Chicago. In addition to continuing to build up his arm (which physically is fine, Ohlendorf said), he needs to focus on not overthrowing. He’s struggled with this — and handling the need to be quicker to the plate while holding on runners — throughout spring.

“The first two innings and the fifth inning, I just think he gets in the routine where he starts overpowering the ball,” Hurdle said. “He throws through his slider. His fastball gets up and gets flat. We’ve got work to do. There is no doubt about that. What’s he’s got to find a way to do is when he gets amped up, he’s got to back away and get back to pitching. It’s inconsistent.”


Garrett Olson did not help his argument for deserving a spot in the Pirates’ bullpen with his showing on Thursday. After pitching a scoreless inning in his Pirates debut on Monday, Olson labored through one inning against Baltimore.

The Orioles scored three times off Olson, who gave up three hits, two walks and threw a wild pitch.

The Pirates have been adamant with their promise to take their seven best relievers north and not to meet any sort of righty-lefty quota. If that is truly the case, you have to wonder if Olson would deserve to be in. He has certainly not outpitched Mike Crotta (and others) at this point.

If Joe Beimel is not ready to start the season with the big league club it will be really interesting to see if the Pirates would be willing to go without a left-hander in the ‘pen.


Everything else of interest tonight can be found on the main site. That includes a full story on the Pirates’ rotation/Opening Day starter decision, which can be found here. By the end of the night there will also be items on Neil Walker’s four-hit game, Lyle Overbay’s strong spring start at the plate, Charlie Morton’s thoughts on being in the rotation and a look at the Pirates’ bullpen puzzle as it is now.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB