Marlins Turn To Orioles’ Ohman For Lefty Relief

The Deal
If the Marlins looked like sellers when they dealt first baseman Jorge Cantu to the Rangers for a pair of pitching prospects, they sent a different message just moments before the trade deadline. Florida dealt young righthander Rick VandenHurk to the Orioles for lefty reliever Will Ohman. The Marlins sit 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves in the National League East and 6 1/2 games behind the Giants for the NL Wild Card.

The well-traveled Ohman joins his fifth organization since 2007. He fills a need in Florida, whose leaky bullpen lacked an effective lefthanded option—especially after the Marlins cut ties with big leaguers Renyel Pinto and Hunter Jones earlier this season. Ohman ranked second in the American League in appearances, and though he’s not overpowering, he has tortured lefthanded hitters, holding them to a .226/.324/.306 line in 62 at-bats this year and .207/.297/.349 in 479 at-bats for his career.

 
Orioles Acquire
Rick VandenHurk, rhp

Age: 25.

Born: May 22, 1985 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 215. Bats: R. Throws: R.

Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Marlins, Nov. 14, 2002.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Florida (NL) MLB 0 0 6.75 2 0 0 1 3 4 1 0 1 1 3.00
New Orleans (PCL) AAA 8 4 4.68 19 19 0 98 100 54 51 11 40 87 1.43

One of the few Dutch-born players in big league history, VandenHurk came back from Tommy John surgery in 2005 to unexpectedly make the big leagues in April 2007, not having pitched above high Class A previously. He went 4-6, 6.83 in 81 2/3 innings as a 22-year-old rookie for the Marlins in 2007, but he has been unable to establish himself in the big league rotation in subsequent seasons. VandenHurk has fought control problems at times in 2010, though he still has the potential to be a mid- or back-of-the-rotation starter. His fastball tops out around 92 mph with good life, and he complements it with a slider and changeup. He’s had trouble keeping the ball down, though, as he’s given up 11 homers in 19 starts for New Orleans and his 0.62 groundout-to-flyout ratio was among the lowest in the Pacific Coast League, a factor that would seem to make him a poor match for hitter-friendly Camden Yards. But a fresh start could do him some good.

 
Marlins Acquire
Will Ohman, lhp

Age: 32. Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $1.35 million deal he signed with Orioles in February.

Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Atlanta (NL)

2008 4 1 3.68 83 0 1 59 51 27 24 3 22 53 1.24
Los Angeles (NL)

2009 1 0 5.84 21 0 1 12 12 8 8 4 8 7 1.62
Baltimore (AL)

2010 0 0 3.30 51 0 0 30 30 12 11 3 18 29 1.60
3-Year Totals 5 1 3.83 155 0 2 101 93 47 43 10 48 89 1.40

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