Will Ohman

30 year old LOOGY, pitched poorly last year but fairly well in the role in 2006, very well in 2005. LOOGYing is a tough job, which doesn’t mean it’s not basically a stupid one. Most of the players you face in crucial situations are either outstanding lefthanded hitters or pinch-hitters, though the short benches caused by all the specialist relievers mean that managers can’t pinch-hit as often as they should.

Drafted out of Pepperdine by the Cubs in 1998, Ohman began his minor league career as a starter, like most pitchers who eventually reach the majors, but like most relievers he wasn’t any good, and was switched to the pen during his second season in pro ball. Meandered up the chain, showing good strikeout numbers and decent control matched with home run problems. (He really only had one good year in the minors, 2000 for AA Tennessee).

Ohman in his major league career (parts of five seasons; 2006 was the only year he didn’t spend at least partially in the minors, missed 2002-03 with an injury and spent all of 2004 in the minors) has 220 appearances, but only 160 innings. Last year, he had 56 appearances, 36 1/3 innings. That’s fundamentally ridiculous, but it’s what you’ll see from your basic lefty specialist. That is not how Bobby has generally used his relievers, who only now are starting to see their appearances outpace their innings.

Righthanders have hit a career .264/.366/.410 line against Ohman, which is really not that bad. Lefties have hit .196/.294/.319. Another symptom of LOOGYdom is that most of the runners who score off of Ohman are inherited, and most of the runs charged to him are scored when other relievers are on the mound. ERA can be misleading for extreme short relief. But last year righthanders hit .325/.381/.481, lefties .236/.329/.389, so he was clearly not as good. Most of that’s singles, but he wasn’t just unlucky, as his strikeouts were down. If he can get that back up over 9/9 IP, where it was in 2005-06, he’ll be fine. It’s still a stupid role.

Will Ohman Statistics –

238 thoughts on “Will Ohman”

  1. I just hope Cox doesn’t try to use him like he used McBride, who really does just suck against righties. Bring in Ohman for Howard and Utley, then get him out of there!

  2. I missed out on all the Hampton bashing yesterday, but does anyone else think Braves management is secretly hoping he gets hurt again so they can claim contract insurance again?

  3. A rotation of Sutton, Koufax, Ryan and Palmer would also consist of four former twenty game winners. That doesn’t mean that much for 2008.

  4. At least we’ll have a LOOGY that actually gets lefties out this year. That will be a refreshing change.

    Who else is crossing their fingers and hoping the Mets don’t reach an agreement with Santana by the 5pm deadline? That would almost be funnier than their September collapse.

  5. However, and I know there’s not much stock in hoping for it, if Hampton can survive through spring training, him and James would probably fill out the remaining spots in the rotation. This would allow Reyes and Jurrjens to start in AAA, where they both need some time.

  6. A healthy hampton gives us the best rotation in the division, top to bottom. Say what you will about the guy, I would much rather have a healthy Hampton in the 4 spot than a healthy Chuck James.

  7. I wonder if we can pray for a Obama/ Hampton ticket?

    (I endorse that last statement as a joke, in no way is it a political statement or an endorsement, just a joke.)

  8. Smitty, this is a no politics zone. Take your bullsh*t elsewhere. Who the heck would vote for Mike Hampton, his arm is more useless than Bob Dole’s

  9. Smitty, R U SERIOUS?

    Now, a Hampton/ Samuel L. Jackson ticket… THAT’S something i could get behind.

  10. Agree w/ Dix on leaving the politics stuff out of here. Please.

    I agree w/ Mac – there is no way Mike Hampton ends up making ONE pitch for the Braves this season.

    re: Will Ohman

    I wholeheartedly agree – this man is a LOOGY and he absolutely cannot and should not be used against say about 98% of right handed batters.

  11. I agree with Alex R about completely misconstruing the over the top nature of my response as being even the least bit serious.

  12. Hey, THT linked to me a couple days ago in the THT daily for Tuesday!

    They were showing links of how different teams reacted to it, and for Atlanta, it read as follows:

    ‘A view from Atlanta. – “I guess it just means Mets fans will be even bitterer when they collapse this year.”‘

  13. shouldn’t that read “I guess it just means Mets fans will be even bitterer when they more collapse this year.”?

  14. I love the idea that someone will read that, know nothing about you, and assume you can’t speak English, AAR.

  15. Dix, hahaha! I know the “this conversation gets the Jaret Wright Trophy” comment was Stu’s Post of 2008, but Dix’s Bob Dole post has mine, and I think that’ll be even tougher to top.

  16. Have you seen Nolan Ryan? He’s suddenly 100 years old. Niekro, now, he could outpitch Hampton, no problem. That gives me an idea… New poll on the way.

  17. I agree with Mac too- but I don’t want to yet. And maybe we shouldn’t. I mean it’s not even Spring Training yet. And now with the Santana trade, it makes that easier to handle thinking that the Braves could have a Hampton in the rotation that is useful, maybe even effective. Yes putting any hope in a healthy Hampton could be seen as fruitless, but so is thinking we get Bedard in a trade. At least with Hampton, he’s on the team.

  18. Really the only difference between us and Mike Hampton is that he gets paid to go to the games and watch.

  19. He gets paid A LOT to go to the games and watch. Come to think of it, he has the coolest job ever. Bastard.

  20. Dix & Smitty,

    I am only briefly checking Bravesjournal between doing actual work at my desk. I apologize if I missed the subtleties of your wink, wink political discussion.

    My bad.

  21. Thanks for the endorsement, but my joke would be funnier if Dole had just died yesterday, rather than 16 years ago. Kind of like Stu’s Heath Ledger comment.

    Stu wins the premature ejaculation award for blowing his wad with the best comment before the year was even a month old.

  22. I think the answer is pretty obviously Niekro, but it’s not really fair to compare Hampton to an inner-circle Hall of Famer with the best knuckleball ever.

    On the other hand, I think Hampton will outpitch Jose Lima next year.

  23. Stu, I hate that I missed that. Classic.

    Here is the link of the day. If you go to Google and type in “Find Chuck Norris” and press the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option

  24. What has Hampton not hurt? Two elbow surgeries, multiple back problems (upper and lower), hamstring issues. What will he hurt this year? Will it be ST or 1st game of the season?

  25. Ok fine y’all win, although I will say Hampton will outpitch Ledger this year, but only by a couple of innings.

  26. I have long advocated that Hampton should be in the AFLAC commercials Braves fans are/were constantly subjected to

  27. Countdown – Mets have 7 hours to agree with Santana’s demands.

    Question: If they fail to reach an agreement by 5 pm, does he just remain a Twin?

  28. If the Mets don’t work out a deal for Santana, Omar Minaya needs to be fired on the spot… And possibly tazed.

  29. The Mets will fold and give Santana whatever he wants. They have no choice and have no leverage. Minaya would be tazed if the deal fell through now; as a matter of fact, I can probably name a few Mets bloggers that would personally do it. Santana can just tell them to shove their offer up their ass if it’s not what he wants, go back to Minnesota and be a free agent next year. Minaya is just pretending to be a hard ass so he can say he did negotiate and didn’t just bend over. This is a done deal.

    Maybe Hampton will learn to pitch right-handed! And, at the very least, he should be kept on the roster as a pinch hitter. He would have been better than Woodward last year.

  30. I just want to give urlhix a quick shout for linking to Calculated Risk yesterday. Great stuff — it made me late for work this morning…

    I also dislike the creature what is known as a LOOGY. Baseball is, strategically speaking, a worse game for sacrificing bench flexibility for one-out relievers. Not to mention the down-time it creates — a bench substitution takes five seconds, a pitching change takes five minutes.

    I’d advocate adding an additional roster spot if I didn’t KNOW it would be used on yet another pitcher.

    So, with all that said, good luck Will Ohman, as you enter your itinerant phase of your search for meaning and relevance….

  31. #50- hilarious and disgusting!

    more on Santana

    Johan Santana Extensions Continue
    Ken Rosenthal has an update on the Johan Santana extension talks. He says the Mets are offering something like $110MM over five seasons with a vesting option for the sixth. The proposed average annual value of $22MM isn’t far off, but Santana wants six or even seven years guaranteed.

  32. I know one potentially encouraging thing about Ohman is that his stats are light years better on the road overall than at Wrigley.

    Has anybody checked how his left right splits are, road games only? I believe Wrigley may be in his head, and if so, he might not be THAT bad against righties in every other park. In fact, if he pitches in Wrigley exactly to his career average and pitches everywhere else to his career road average, he is a great pick up.

  33. Sansho,

    I agree with you and have advocated a rule change requiring pitchers to face at least two hitters instead of one. This would essentially eliminate LOOGYs and, therefore, the players’ union would never accept it. All the pitching changes just make the games drag forever, especially playoff games. And why not use a clock; there is no reason for a pitcher to take 40 seconds or more to deliver a pitch, even with runners on base.

  34. My proposed rule would be a little stronger: A pitcher can not be removed during his first inning of work unless he’s allowed at least one run.

    Or, a milder version: You can make only one change during an inning, after which the pitcher must be charged with at least one run.

  35. I agree with facing at least two hitters, but a pitch clock could be dangerous- unlike in basketball where the ball is being thrown at an inanimate object, a baseball is thrown towards a player- forcing a pitcher to speed up I think would lead to more erratic throws and hit batsmen.

    Which would be pretty cool I guess.

  36. The actual game itself is fine. I am with Ububba though. The DH has outlived its intended purpose. A pitcher should be a batter too.

    Two other things I would eliminate.
    The unbalanced schedule and inter league play.

  37. I’m catching up on blogs from a few days ago (other pitchers). Tommy Hanson’s stats are impressive. How big is he? What pitches does he have?

  38. RE: the Santana trade. If no contract agreement is reached between the Mets and Johan, I don’t think the deal necessarily falls through. I suppose the Mets could just say that they will try to reach an agreement during the season, being that they already stole him from the Twins for a sack of magic beans.

  39. Keith Law on Tommy Hanson:

    Atlanta took Hanson out of Riverside Junior College in 2005, paying him over $300,000 to buy him out of a scholarship to Arizona State, and he’s the best pitching prospect remaining in the Braves’ system after the massive Mark Teixeira deal last summer. Hanson already runs his fastball up to 91-95 mph, but at a somewhat slight 6-foot-6, he still has projection left in his body. He also features an above-average curveball and an average change, while his stuff plays up because he has good deception in his delivery. His arm action is fluid and his command is improving. He’s a few years off, although Atlanta has tended to promote pitchers quickly once they show that their command is good enough to handle the next level.

  40. CJ, no, the negotiating window is one of the prerequisites for the trade, because Johan Santana has a no-trade clause that he won’t agree to waive without a big contract extension.

  41. update…

    Johan Santana Extension Talks Continue
    UPDATE, 2-1-08 at 1:32pm: Jon Heyman has an update as we near the deadline. The Mets are expected to give Santana a six-year extension worth $132MM ($22MM per) and also tack on a $7MM bonus to up his ’08 salary. That would put Santana over $152MM for the 2008-14 seasons

  42. CJ, he would rather pitch for the Mets this year, but not at the expense of losing alot of money. He would rather wait for free agency when he KNOWS he will get what he is looking for. That being said, the Mets will give him what he is looking for and the deal will be done today.

  43. Come on, Johann. HOLD OUT FOR $170! They’re the Mets. People from Long Island can afford ticket increases.

  44. You know, I had assumed signing him wouldn’t be a problem for the Mats, but there’s less time left than There Will Be Blood. It gets my hopes up.

  45. Kudos to all who contributed to a number of good laughs. I needed that.

    Santana will get whatever he asks for because he has all the leverage. And because of Zito’s absolutely ridiculous contract, Santana will be an extremely rich man.

  46. And then Santana comes out of the room after bludgeoning Minaya and saying “I AM FINISHED.”

  47. JoeyT @ 81,

    I really hope Santana holds out for more than $170. I’m almost sure the Mets can afford that. :)

    Joshua @ 80,

    I don’t see how Santana loses any money by pitching a year for the Mets rather than the Twins. He would still be a free agent after next year and it would probably give him better stats to take into free agency. But he probably doesn’t want to move and then have to move again. But I think this is all posturing by the Mets anyway. They have no choice but to give him what he wants.

  48. JoeyT,
    You wouldn’t say that if you’ve ever been to Amityville or Hempstead. Not all of Long Island is like “The Great Gatsby.”

  49. @70, thanks, Alex R, I burst out laughing on the phone at work when I read your comment…

    Although it would’ve been better if you could’ve tied “Dix on fire” back into Brokeback Mountain…

  50. One hour left, these guys are taking it to the wire. Maybe Santana realized that he’d have to play for the Miserable Mets and no amount of money would change that.

  51. Maybe the Mets are trying to negotiate with Team Santana like they did with the GM, and it’s not working.

    GM: I was wondering if, for the best pitcher in baseball, we could have your good prospect?
    GM: Okay, okay, sorry … whatever you have is fine.

    Santana: I was wondering if, for the best pitcher in baseball, you could extend my contract six years.
    Santana: Fine, whatever. I’ll just wait a year and have someone pay me next summer.

  52. The deadline doesn’t really mean much. They can always extend it. It’s hard to imagine that this doesn’t get done.

  53. Its going to get done, its just one year holding them up. It seems ridiculous to imagine him holding rigid to the 5pm deadline if they’re only a year apart.

  54. It wasn’t, it was a set up. I knew your response would include the words Dix and racking and that you’d do it for me.

  55. I can’t believe with the myriad of brokeback and hampton jokes that someone didn’t make a joke along the lines of “I wish I knew how to quit you Hampton” I was hoping Dix would.

  56. AAR just went from Hampton pitching to Ledger pitching, to Ledger’s girlfriend Michelle Williams, to Dawson’s Creek, to James Vanderbeek, to Varsity Blues.

  57. I believe that the deadlines are set by MLB, not by the teams or players, and are subject to the whim of Das Bud as to if they get extended.


    Monday: Royce Ring
    Tuesday: Jeff Bennett
    Wednesday: Other Relief Possibilities

    I have eight possible relievers listed already in the Others post. Anyone got suggestions, not counting the guys I covered in the starters post?

  58. how about a write up on Roger McDowell? My guess is that it’d probably be pretty subjective, but I’d like to see what you’d have to say in a write up.

  59. According to Stark we signed Ryan Drese last summer- I remember him winning some games for the Rangers, is he in any talk to be invited to Spring Training? I don’t really know much about him, but I want to pronounce his name DrEE SEE

  60. In the whole vast configuration of things, I’d say Mike Hampton is nothing but a scurvy little spider.

  61. I was in Chicago for lots of Ohman’s time with the Cubs, and every Cubs fan I know without fail hated this guy. They reacted with universal disgust everytime this guy was brought into the game (mostly because he always seemed to walk people in big spots). Maybe the #s dont back it up, but if history is any guide – we’ll have Kali like fears when this guy gets brought in.

  62. avery,

    I think you just destroyed your own point: you say that every Cubs fan hated this guy. Ohman sucks at home. Of course they’d hate him.

  63. Well, if Ohman always sucks at home, we’re going to hate him, too. Let’s hope he only sucks at Wrigley.

  64. We can afford 7 years at 22million per, we just won’t have Teixiera. Who would you rather have?

  65. I’d rather have Teixeira too. It’s debeatable with Santana on whether or not he can keep up that kind of #1 stuff because of occassional injury problems that could come up. Not so with Teixeira. He doesn’t have any impending problems.

  66. That’s because he had the hamstring injury. There’s nothing that makes me think that could be a recurring problem. It COULD be, but… well, you know.

  67. Well I guess we can now cancel the regular season and give the Mets their 2008 NL East pennant. Or at least I’m sure that’s what the northeastern dominated sports media thinks.

  68. So that means the Mets are on the hook for 7 years? I wonder if the foreboding history of long contracts for pitchers will come back to bite them in the ass? We can hope.

    Also, I look forward to seeing Santana pitch in Philly and Colorado, as the reigning homer-giver-upper in the AL. He’s a great pitcher, no doubt, but he’s mortal.

  69. Ugg. The Mets just got the best pitcher in baseball….

    I mean, I guess they needed to fill that spot in their rotation, and this is a huge way to do it…. It’ll push their payroll up above $140M I think. How unfortunate.

  70. Mets fan here. The next 3 years are going to be awesome. The 4 years after that? Well. Glad it’s not my money.

  71. I think he realizes that in about 3 years Minyana is going to realize the Mets have no other arms and is going to sign Eli. The 8th inning soul crushing homers are going to drive the team into oblivion.

  72. Everyone makes such a big deal about Tom Brady dating Gisele but for some reason the media doesn’t care that Eli is f*cking Matt Damon.

  73. I used to have that Four Aces poster, but my house burned down and I lost it. I would have traded a few things to keep that poster.

  74. It’ also time for everyone to put up a Braves player as their desktop background. I’ve got my Chipper background up already. Had to take down the candidate I was supporting for the presidency, but this is more important…by far.

  75. Saw a really fun band tonight in Brooklyn: The Whigs from Athens. Really punchy, really tight garage-power-pop. Recommended.

  76. Well, all of Chuck James debate may be for not. DOB says in his latest blog that James is only throwing off flat surfaces, and that his shoulder is hurting. May not be ready for the start of the season, and he made it sound like he didnt have alot of faith in him for the coming season.

  77. Well, it’s context. As a third starter, he’s only okay, and he took some heat. However, he could be one of the best fifth starters in baseball behind Buchholz or whomever the Red Sox throw out there.

  78. I was being a tiny bit facetious, or sarcastic or whatever word fits.

    If James can’t go, I guess this means that Jo-Jo Reyes is going to get his spot?

  79. If I remember correctly, assuming Hampton is in the rotation, Jurjjens would be the logical choice for James spot, wouldnt he? I know thats a huge assumption on the part of Hampton though…..on second thought, I think the chances of my bald head suddenly sprouting new growth is more likely than Hampton pitching.

  80. *thump* Can we stop with this Bedard business? Please? It’s not going to happen.

    I was operating on the assumption that Hampton wouldn’t be able to pitch and that Jurrjens would take his place instead, but that’s just splitting hairs.

  81. I don’t hate James, but I don’t particularly like him either. As many have noted, if he can provide league average innings then great, he’ll be useful at the back end of the rotation. Ultimately, I would argue that the Braves need three guys to be better than league average (to varying degrees) in their rotation, and at least one average guy – probably two – at the back end of it. That’s my totally unsupported theory on what it will take to compete for the division and a playoff spot.

  82. i find this interesting:

    per jayson stark…ok, i know i know…but still

    Nobody accumulates potentially useful pitching options like the Braves. They quietly signed one-time 14-game winner Ryan Drese late last summer, content to let him ease back from Tommy John surgery. Now they’re bringing him to camp with an eye toward stashing him at Richmond until they need him.

    Assuming James is ok, and hampton can pitch…getting Drese might have been one of the smartest moves Wren has made yet.

    thoughts? Mac?

  83. i find this interesting:

    per jayson stark…ok, i know i know…but still

    Nobody accumulates potentially useful pitching options like the Braves. They quietly signed one-time 14-game winner Ryan Drese late last summer, content to let him ease back from Tommy John surgery. Now they’re bringing him to camp with an eye toward stashing him at Richmond until they need him.

    Assuming James is ok, and hampton can pitch…getting Drese might have been one of the smartest moves Wren has made yet.

    thoughts? Mac?

  84. Drese wasn’t great with the Nats either, but as long as he’s cheap I don’t particularly care. But remember, we picked him up in August. That means JS got him.

  85. And no one picks up potentially useful pitching options like Schuerholz once did. :) As it is, I think the Braves are better set this season with Reyes and Jurrjens to fall back on.

  86. Might I suggest.. Thorman! Thorman! Thorman!

    Toronto’s J.P. Ricciardi made a play for Bedard but was rebuffed and is now turning his attention to Pittsburgh left fielder Jason Bay, as the Blue Jays want to add a marquee Canadian-born player to their roster. …

    Marquee?? He was a 1st round pick. His nickname is Thor. I mean, what else do you need, J.P?

  87. If Drese is pitching well (for him) he could be suitable for the 5th starter spot while Jurrjens and Reyes get regular turns at Richmond.

  88. I should root for the Pats, who have 2 prominent UGA players (Richard Seymour, Ben Watson), but I’m just sick of that bunch.

    So I’ll root for the Ole Miss guy.

  89. Any of several golf announcers: “What a fantastic golf shot.”

    Me (to the TV): “Good thing he was playing golf when it happened.”

    The maturation of Eli Manning is such a meme right now that I think it’s forgotten how shaky he was not very long ago. I’m predicting deer-in-the-headlights until it’s too late. 37-20 Pats

  90. Well, if this is the prediction thread, then I’ll say Patriots 45 – Giants 24. Eli will have three interceptions and there’s no way the Patriots don’t score at least 35.

  91. Drese is awful. If we’re forced to resort to him… well, at that point I’m pretty sure we’ll have no chance at the division title. We’d probably just be hoping for a winning record. >_

  92. 20-17 Giants. The Giants run the ball a lot, Eli plays just good enough not to lose and gets way more credit than he deserves.

  93. Sorry for the double post, Mac. Should’ve refreshed.

    And I agree about the greatest play in the history of football. Man, that one’s going down in history. Sounds cheesy, but that was insane.

  94. I get to eat crow, but my daughter is going to be really happy (she’s young and has a crush on Eli Manning–which is disturbing to this Cowboys fan). Way to go JoeyT. Is there a prize for calling it?

  95. So that was pretty amazing. I’m inclined to agree with Mac, although I’ve probably got to stay with “the catch” being as I’m a 49ers fan. :-)

  96. Someone posted on deadspin, “Does this cancel out the 2004 ALCS?” That’s one helluva a question to ponder. I say yes. Yes it does.

  97. JoeyT-

    I told my wife just now about your prediction after going down the Bravesjournal thread and she and I would like you to do our taxes this year. My goodness that was impressive.

    Are there flying cars in the future?


    Mac, my suggestions for the others post: Ben and Juliet.

    I’m just sayin’.

    Back to the Super Bowl-

    I was mainly rooting for the Pats because I wanted the 72 Dolphins to shut the hell up. Frankly, considering the Pats perfect regular season, they still should, but the Giants win now will be an excuse for those damned annoying 72 Dolphins to keep their crap up.

    Eli Manning – Supe Bowl Champion? Really???

    I am guessing the 3rd brother, Cooper Manning, really must feel like a loser in that family.

  98. Well, I can eat my words. Eli was definitely better than Brady tonight.. Him getting out of the sack and throwing the bomb to Tyree just might be the play of the year. Congrats to the Giants

  99. Personas non gratas in Boston:

    1) Peyton Manning

    2) Eli Manning

    I wonder how many horrible Eli/Peyton commercials the ’08 season will put us through? It could get ugly. We might need the FCC to intervene.

  100. The Mannings are the greatest trio of family QBs ever! Seriously, that was a good game. Also impressive was the last couple of hail marys Brady threw. Had to have been like 75 yards in the air.

  101. “Had to have been like 75 yards in the air.”

    and the announcers kept talking about how bad his ankle was and how he couldnt step into anything. What a joke they are…

  102. Just insane to watch, wow.

    I can’t wait for baseball to start. Let’s go!

    sansho1, CR is a blast of a blog, glad you like it.

    ububba, my wife thinks The Whigs are the best band going right now in Athens, for what it’s worth.

    Chuckie, we hardly knew ye…

  103. I was torn on the whole ‘will the ’72 Dolphins shut up already? and ‘God I hate the Patriots’ sentiments that have continuously plagued me over the past couple weeks. As the game went on, I realized that I desperately wanted the Pats to lose. So I’m kind of happy now, which is weird, because ordinarily I would rank the Giants as one of my least favorite teams in any sport.

    And now, as I peruse the coverage, this at the end of Greg Garber’s recap on espn.com:

    “I’m happy for the New York Giants,” said former Dolphins running back Mercury Morris, sounding suspiciously happy for himself. “They were the ones who did what we did, what it took to win — which is exactly what we did 17 times in 1972.

    “You can talk about it all you want, but you still have to win every game.”

    Good. God.

  104. The Giants Super Bowl win will put off some of the Santana talk for a couple days around here.

    And if I played for the ’72 Dolphins, I certainly wouldn’t be pulling for the Pats. I might be a little more gracious, though.

    About The Whigs: A power trio can be a wonderful thing.

    The other night they were supertight, didn’t mess around onstage too much (a pet peeve of mine) & just got up and banged out a set of really great songs. A band I’m rooting for.

  105. Just out of curiosity, who would you guys want to see perform at halftime? I would love to see a halftime show performed by Ted Nugent.

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