It’s About Time!

I originally wanted to see Will Ohman in Dodger blue as far back as last October/files/includes/,.css and as his price continued to drop while the Dodgers trotted out minor league jobbers like Brian Mazone and Erick Threets/files/includes/,.css the fit only seemed more obvious: hey/files/includes/,.css maybe a contending team who badly needs a lefty specialist should bring in the lefty specialist who’s already said he wants to be on the west coast! I still can’t quite comprehend why it took so long/files/includes/,.css but common sense has finally arrived:

The Dodgers need relief pitchers/files/includes/,.css and reliever Will Ohman needs a job. Those two needs intersected on Sunday morning/files/includes/,.css when the Dodgers gave the free-agent left-hander a tryout.

Ohman/files/includes/,.css accompanied at Camelback Ranch-Glendale by his agent/files/includes/,.css went through a two-inning simulated game against Minor League hitters in front of manager Joe Torre and most of the Dodgers’ front office.

ohmanbraves.jpgGreat! Perfect! In case you’re not familiar with Ohman/files/includes/,.css he’s exactly what the team needs right now/files/includes/,.css and not even just because of (complete lack of) competition for the position otherwise. The 31-year-old Pepperdine alum made his debut with the Cubs in 2000/files/includes/,.css getting into 17 games in his first two years/files/includes/,.css before blowing out his arm and missing 2002 and 2003. Since making it back to the bigs in 2005/files/includes/,.css he’s been one of the most reliable lefty relievers over the last four seasons/files/includes/,.css making at least 56 appearances each year with quality results (ERA+ scores of 151/files/includes/,.css 112/files/includes/,.css 94/files/includes/,.css and 116).  Even better/files/includes/,.css unlike Joe Beimel/files/includes/,.css Ohman’s been killer on fellow southpaws/files/includes/,.css holding them to just a .571 OPS in 2008.

That’d be a pretty valuable addition to any team/files/includes/,.css but in comparison to Mazone (32 and yet to appear in a MLB game) and Threets (6.75 spring ERA after allowing a run and two hits in 1/3 of an inning today) Ohman’s basically looking like Sandy Koufax right now – especially when you consider that Hong-Chih Kuo is almost guaranteed to miss some time this year due to injury. (That said/files/includes/,.css until Kuo does go down/files/includes/,.css how tasty is a Kuo/Ohman lefty duo? Niiiice.)

So what’s stopping the Dodgers from signing him now-ish? Well/files/includes/,.css Joe Torre/files/includes/,.css for one:

Free agent left-hander Will Ohman said he would be ready for opening day/files/includes/,.css but Manager Joe Torre wasn’t so sure.

Of Ohman’s command when he pitched to minor leaguers in front of the Dodgers’ brain trust/files/includes/,.css Torre said/files/includes/,.css “You can see he hasn’t been pitched in games.”

From the story/files/includes/,.css Torre also mentioned:

“But there’s a certain element of sharpness you’d like to have. Where we are/files/includes/,.css how many times can he pitch [in a game]? We saw today the quality of his stuff. You can see he hasn’t been pitching in a game as far as command. Not that he’s been pinpoint [in his career].”

Well/files/includes/,.css yeah. I don’t doubt he’s rusty. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s missed almost all of spring training. But doesn’t he have enough of a track record of success to think that it’ll just take him some extra time to get going? I mean/files/includes/,.css what would you prefer to have out there in the pen? A proven reliever who might need a week or two more to get up to speed/files/includes/,.css or/files/includes/,.css well/files/includes/,.css Brian Mazone and Erick Threets?

Will Ohman. Dodger blue. Let’s make this happen.


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