The Red Sox have signed Ross Ohlendorf, who pitched for the Pirates over the last few years.
Numerous reports about the signing have cited the fact that Ohlendorf has a 2-14 record over the last 2 seasons. That’s true, but what does it really mean?
First take a look at 2009. Ohlendorf started 29 games, had a 106 ERA+ in 172.2 innings, and an 11-10 record. That seems fine…he was a little better than average and had a slightly above-average winning percentage. The only thing that sticks out as unusual is that for a guy who averaged just under 6 innings per start, he got a decision fairly frequently–in 21 out of 29 starts.
In 2010, his numbers were similar. His WHIP went up a little and his ERA+ went down to 99. Still, he was about league average in 21 starts and 108.1 innings. Somehow he earned a 1-11 record. That’s not right. His neutralized pitching stats (see here, at the bottom of the page) say he deserved a 5-6 record that year.
In fact, looking at his 2010 game log, he had only 4 games where he allowed more than 4 runs. He had 4 losses in games where he allowed 2 runs or fewer. He had 6 other starts where he allowed 2 runs or fewer and got a no-decision (not counting a 7/28 start where he recorded only 2 outs.)
Granted, in 2011, he was awful, but that was in just 38.2 innings. Over those innings he allowed a whopping 60 hits plus 15 walks and 6 hit batters. That’s a problem. But if he was just injured in 2011 and can return to 2010 form, he would make a fine 4th or 5th starter for any team.