Zrebiec: O’s still not left out
Less than two weeks remain before the first workout for pitchers and catchers and the Orioles continue to search for a southpaw reliever to compete with Alberto Castillo, Wilfrido Perez and non-roster invitee Mike Hinckley for the situational lefty spot in the bullpen.
Will Ohman is the guy that the Orioles really want and they watched him throw a bullpen session in Arizona about 10 days ago. Ohman, a 32-year-old who had a 5.84 ERA in 21 appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, is trying to prove that he’s healthy after having elbow and shoulder surgeries.
The Orioles have extended a minor league offer to Ohman, but he’s holding out for a major league one and a highly-coveted 40-man roster spot. The Orioles will not give him one, though they do figure to present him with a nice opportunity to break camp with the club because Castillo, Perez and Hinckley are all unproven on the major league level. Meanwhile, Ohman has held left-handed hitters to a .204 average during his career.
Japanese left-hander Hisanori Takahashi, a close friend and former teammate of Orioles’ pitcher Koji Uehara, turned down the Orioles’ minor league offer, but he hasn’t completely closed the door on the club. Still, his addition is unlikely because the swingman role the Orioles envisioned for him was the one that the club has since re-signed Mark Hendrickson to occupy.
Joe Beimel is another option for the Orioles. Veteran situational left-handers Ron Villone and Ron Mahay are also available, although the Orioles didn’t have much interest in either earlier this offseason. It’s possible that has changed as the pool of available southpaws has shrunk at this point of the offseason.
Quick plug: This is going to come as a shock to you, but Schmuck actually did some work the last couple of days. If you want to read his column on Joe Flacco that will be in Sunday's print edition, you can do that right here.