Ross Ohlendorf finished very strong in 2009, leading the rotation in both ERA (3.92) and WHIP (1.23) while picking up 11 wins.

Nonetheless, the 2010 season began with some concerns. In spring training, he was inconsistent with his fastball and his pitches were flat. However, his first start of the regular season was encouraging; His fastball showed life and he maintained consistent velocity.

On Monday, April 12, new concerns surfaced. Ohlendorf was scratched from his scheduled start against the San Francisco Giants with back spasms and was later (April 17) placed on the 15-day DL.

He returned May 10 to throw four strong innings against the Cincinnati Reds and has recorded two quality starts in his three appearances since. Unfortunately, there still appears to be something wrong with the 6′ 4″ righty – his command.

Over the course of Ohlendorf’s first three seasons, he showed extremely good command. In 245 2/3 innings of work, he walked only 86 batters while striking out 167 – nearly a 2:1 ratio. 2010 has been a different story. He’s walked 18 and struck out 15 in only 24 2/3 innings of work.

If this young Pirates team is going to enjoy any success, they will need Ohlendorf to regain his 2009 form. Let’s hope he finds his command and that this is nothing more than some rust from his month-long stay on the DL.



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