In the first arbitration hearing of the year Ross Ohlendorf has defeated the Pirates, meaning the 28-year-old right-hander will receive $2.025 million this season rather than the $1.4 million figure submitted by the team.
Ohlendorf won the case despite going 1-11 in 21 starts last season, which means he already has as many victories in 2011 as he had in all of 2010. Sort of.
With a 4.07 ERA in 108 innings (and a 3.92 ERA in 177 innings in 2009) he pitched much better than his ugly win-loss record suggests, so it’s interesting that Ohlendorf came out on top in a situation where rulings often come from people not particularly well-versed in modern baseball analysis.
Perhaps the Princeton graduate made a compelling case for himself or at least a compelling case against the importance of win-loss records for pitchers. Either way, it’s a victory for … well, not caring about victories.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.