Ohman too valuable as specialist to close

Ohman too valuable as specialist to close

WASHINGTON -- Could Will Ohman be a potential ninth-inning guy for the Orioles? Perhaps. But using Ohman in a full-inning capacity would limit the number of times manager Dave Trembley could call on the reliever to record critical late-game outs.

"He wants to [pitch in the ninth inning]," Trembley said of Ohman. "He's been very valuable as a situational lefty."

So valuable, in fact, that it's become customary to see Ohman take the hill in seemingly every Orioles game to match up against some of baseball's best left-handed hitters. Ohman entered Saturday with an American League-leading 23 appearances, and he hasn't allowed an earned run this season, a stretch that totals 14 innings. He is holding left-handed hitters to a .194 (6-for-31) average.

Ohman, who says he has asked for a day off just once in his seven-year career, isn't worried about fatigue setting in later in the season. He typically throws around 10 pitches in the bullpen warming up and limits things like how often he plays catch. The duration of his outings -- most of which are under 10 pitches -- also helps, although Ohman said the difference in recording one out or three is minimal.

"Whether I pitch to one hitter or to four, I'm going to have the same fatigue level because you've amped up your body with adrenaline," Ohman said. "And you're going to put forth the maximum effort whether I face one guy or three guys. I don't think there's really any difference. If there is, it's negligible."

A non-roster invitee who made the team out of Spring Training, Ohman has made it clear that he has no problem with how Trembley chooses to use him out of the 'pen.

"[When] they brought me in, it was well stated that they want me to be the lefty specialist. That's what I've been my whole career," Ohman said. "I've had some success against right-handers. I don't necessarily feel that's all I can do. [But] I'm not going to lobby for it; It is what it is."