2016 Reds

Ross Ohlendorf signs with Yakult Swallows

Ross Ohlendorf, a whipping boy for many Cincinnati fans, will take his distinctive windup and pitching motion to Tokyo, Japan, where he’ll play for the Yakult Swallows in 2017. Looks like a great deal for Ohlendorf — up to $2 million, whereas it’s unlikely he would have been able to secure a major league deal in the states for next season (although it’s almost guaranteed that he would have been given a non-roster invitation to spring training for some team, possibly Cincinnati).

Ohlendorf is 34, and 2016 was his ninth season in the big leagues, having played for six teams. He posted a 5-7 record with a 4.66 ERA for the Reds, and also secured two of his three career saves.

You may remember that another former Cincinnati reliever — Logan Ondrusek — also pitched for the Yakult Swallows in 2015 and 2016. Ondrusek has since found a home in Baltimore’s bullpen.

The Nation wishes Ohlendorf nothing but the best of luck as he attempts to continue his career overseas. While the results on the field weren’t what anyone had hoped for, I’ll never forget that sweet, sweet windup and delivery that Ohlendorf brought to the Queen City. I’m sure they’ll love it in Tokyo, as well.

24 thoughts on “Ross Ohlendorf signs with Yakult Swallows

  1. I sure hope they don’t go this route again this year. In this year of figuring things out, go with pitchers in the system over over-the-hill veterans.

    • That worked out great, give me some optimism because all I can recall is JC Ramirez, Stomson, AJ Morris, Daniel Wright, Dayan Diaz, and a lot more. Think the system is riddled with AAAA cast-offs. Would agree if they can find guys like Jumbo, Josh Smith, & Sampson who were at least replacement levels but I am not sure these guys count as those in the system.
      Still cannot figure out why there is a significant population calling for a 27 year old lefty with ML success to be cut. BTW not calling for Cingrani to close but be the 5th or 6th guy

      • This year already there’s cast off’s such as Lucas letuge, Johnny hellweg, and Rob wooten on minor leaughe deals.

  2. I liked Ross a lot but the results of his pitching efforts 🙂

    If he can get folks out at all, his style should send him viral in Japan. He’ll probably end up making a fortune on side deals….

  3. Be hard to give up that lifestyle…..the lowest guy on the MLB ladder has it better than 95% of us.And I’ll say this for Ross….no matter how bad things went for he was able to blow it off and next game be back out there on the mound….that would take some serious mental toughness….

  4. A Princeton grad if I remember correctly. Should have a good time finishing out his career there. My sister lived there for 13 years, took her awhile to master the language. Probably take Ohlendorf about 3 months. Good luck!

  5. What happened to Ondrusek? Why did he go off the rail? I thought he was a good part of that 2010-2012 bullpen…the poof!

  6. I am 57 years old extremely obese with a bad back and knee and in my prime I couldn’t hit a basketball with a boat oar. Those are my qualifications but if he got 1.6 with a legitimate shot at 2 million I know that I am worth 200 thousand to misplay 1st base for them. LMAO! What are they smoking?

  7. I went to a Swallows game last summer. They have another former Red as well. Wladimir Balentein. Sadly they lost so we didn’t get to see Logan pitched, I was hoping to get a Jersey of his for the fun of it. And honestly, he’ll probably be fine there. Japanese baseball hasn’t quite caught on to sabermetrics yet, and he still throws harder than most Japanese pitchers.

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