05/22/10 3:52 PM ET
Ohman too valuable as specialist to close
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"He wants to [pitch in the ninth inning]," Trembley said of Ohman. "He's been very valuable as a situational lefty."
So valuable, in fact, that it's become customary to see Ohman take the hill in seemingly every Orioles game to match up against some of baseball's best left-handed hitters. Ohman entered Saturday with an American League-leading 23 appearances, and he hasn't allowed an earned run this season, a stretch that totals 14 innings. He is holding left-handed hitters to a .194 (6-for-31) average.
Ohman, who says he has asked for a day off just once in his seven-year career, isn't worried about fatigue setting in later in the season. He typically throws around 10 pitches in the bullpen warming up and limits things like how often he plays catch. The duration of his outings -- most of which are under 10 pitches -- also helps, although Ohman said the difference in recording one out or three is minimal.
"Whether I pitch to one hitter or to four, I'm going to have the same fatigue level because you've amped up your body with adrenaline," Ohman said. "And you're going to put forth the maximum effort whether I face one guy or three guys. I don't think there's really any difference. If there is, it's negligible."
A non-roster invitee who made the team out of Spring Training, Ohman has made it clear that he has no problem with how Trembley chooses to use him out of the 'pen.
"[When] they brought me in, it was well stated that they want me to be the lefty specialist. That's what I've been my whole career," Ohman said. "I've had some success against right-handers. I don't necessarily feel that's all I can do. [But] I'm not going to lobby for it; It is what it is."
Red-hot Scott moves into cleanup spot
WASHINGTON -- The Orioles' lineup had a slightly different look on Saturday afternoon, with red-hot Luke Scott batting in the cleanup spot for the first time this season. Typical No. 4 hitter Miguel Tejada was bumped up to the third spot, with Ty Wigginton batting fifth.
Manager Dave Trembley said the thought was to have a strong bat in front of Tejada -- which was Nick Markakis -- and to have someone protecting Scott on the other side.
"Scott is swinging the bat real well for us right now," Trembley said. "Put Nicky in the two slot, he does well there, [Corey] Patterson's been getting on, maybe to hold him [we'll get] more fastballs for Markakis."
After a slow start to the season, Markakis entered Saturday hitting .339 with 11 multihit contests in his past 28 games. Scott's numbers are even more eye-popping as of late, as the slugger has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, batting .477 (21-for-44) with six homers, three doubles and 12 RBIs over that stretch.
Typically the team's designated hitter, Trembley has made it no secret that he will find ways to keep Scott's bat in the lineup during Interleague Play, namely by inserting him at first base in lieu of slumping Garrett Atkins. Scott has made 20 starts this season in the fifth spot, hitting sixth 12 times and seventh just once.
In the wake of a season-long struggle to produce timely hitting, Saturday's lineup was another effort to mix things up in hopes of finding an equations that helps the O's offense click.
"I thought about it a lot," Trembley said of the lineup moves. "[We'll] see if it's OK [on Saturday]. [It} looked good on paper."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.