Oct 29, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 31
How acquired: Minor-league free agent, Jan. 2013
MLB service time: 4 years, 170 days
2013 salary+bonuses: Unknown
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2014, free agent in 2016
2013 Stats: 16 G, 7 GS, 60.1 IP, 56 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 14 BB, 45 SO, 8 HR, 1.160 WHIP, 4-1, 3.28 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 0.3 WAR
2013 analysis: Something of an afterthought at spring training, Ohlendorf opened the season at Class AAA Syracuse and didn’t seem likely to appear in Washington anytime soon. But the Nationals found themselves in need of an emergency starter June 12 in Colorado, so the right-hander got the call and wound up holding the Rockies to one run on two hits over six sparkling innings.
Out of options and thus unable to be sent back to the minors without first passing through waivers, Ohlendorf stayed with the Nationals and pitched out of the bullpen, where he proved an effective long man. He got the chance to start six more games, which featured mixed results, often with Ohlendorf fading once he reached the fifth or sixth inning.
2014 outlook: Ohlendorf presents an interesting case this winter. Because he has considerable big-league experience, he’s eligible for arbitration and thus could be in line for a significant salary. The Nationals could simply decide not to take the chance and non-tender the right-hander, making him a free agent.
If he returns, Ohlendorf will again be out of options, so he’ll need to make the club out of spring training or be exposed to waivers. The veteran hurler could prove valuable, though, whether as a No. 5 starter or long reliever. He could wind up being one of Mike Rizzo’s tougher offseason decisions.
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