Farewell Ross Ohlendorf, the KC Royals barely knew ye.
When the KC Royals signed Ross Ohlendorf to a minor league contract with an opt out, one had to expect that he would serve as a depth piece in Omaha. After all, the Royals starting rotation and relief corps seemed pretty much set, so unless there was an injury or Ohlendorf pitched far beyond expectations during Spring Training, he would be on the outside looking in.
Today, Ohlendorf is looking to force that decision. According to Jerry Crasnick, Ohelndorf has decided to exercise his opt out, giving the Royals 48 hours to either add him to the 40 man roster or to release the oft travelled righty.
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While it is certainly understandable that Ohlendorf would want to know what his future holds, his decision seems somewhat peculiar. Although he pitched relatively well in a relief role for the Rangers last season, his 3.72 ERA belied a 1.448 WHiP and a 4.94 FIP. Add in his struggles thus far in Spring Training, as Ohlendorf has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.500 WHiP in his eight innings of work, and it is difficult to see where he fits on the major league roster.
Ohlendorf’s best bet to be a part of the Royals likely involved spending time in Omaha. In that way, had he been able to perform well at AAA, Ohlendorf could have been one of the first options in case of injury or poor performance. Instead, by opting out of his contract, he may well have ended his time with the KC Royals before it really began.
Ross Ohlendorf was already facing an uphill battle to be a part of the KC Royals this season. Now, as he opted out, his time with the Royals may be ending within the next 48 hours.