Will Ohman With A Perfect ERA

The Orioles signed Will Ohman to a minor league deal this off-season because they were lacking left-handers in the bullpen. Ohman pitched well in Spring Training and ended up making the big club. All he’s done since then is not give up a single run (earned or otherwise*), with a 2.46 FIP^ and a 3.50 xFIP^ that would both be the best marks of his career. Ohman’s strike-out rate, which fell from the 9-10 per nine range to the 8’s to 5.1 K/9 last year, is back up to 9.8 strike-outs per nine. He’s walking a lot of batters (4.6 per nine), though that’s not that far removed from his career mark (4.5 BB/9). And he’s also getting a lot more groundballs than he has in years, with an above average 48.6% GB rate. Tiny sample sizes, but Ohman’s actually been better against right-handed batters than left-handed batters (2.23 xFIP vs. 4.22) with almost double the strike-out rate (14.3 vs. 7.2 K/9). Even if you factor in the 4 inherited runners he’s allowed to score (out of 18), his “ERA” would still only be 2.30. Obviously Ohman is unlikely to finish the season with a 0.00 ERA, but he seems to be getting good movement on his fastball and is missing more bats than he has in years. Looks like a solid pick-up for the team, and maybe there’s some potential for the O’s to spin him off at the trade deadline to a team looking for a lefty for the stretch run.

* Though he’s the only pitcher in the majors with at least 15 IP who still hasn’t given up a run, and the only one with at least 10 IP who hasn’t given up an earned run.