TUCSON PADRES

Ohlendorf shows brilliance for Padres

2012-08-25T00:00:00Z 2014-07-25T12:07:07Z Ohlendorf shows brilliance for PadresBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 25, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Until this week, the extent of Ross Ohlendorf's Kino Stadium experience happened six years ago, a few days on the bench, one of them painful.

Yet he'll never forget it. Ohlendorf isn't the kind of guy who forgets anything.

Voted the third-smartest professional athlete by the Sporting News in 2010, when he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ohlendorf has a résumé you just don't see much in baseball. Or anywhere.

The 30-year-old right-hander has not only thrown for the Yankees, Pirates and Padres, but he's a graduate of Princeton who had a 3.8 GPA in engineering, with a mother who is a vice president of the University of Texas.

He wrote a thesis on the favorable rates of return that major-league teams get from signing bonuses offered to high draft picks. He interned with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And he spends every offseason outside Austin, Texas, raising longhorns.

Seriously.

Sound like anyone you know? Here's a more detailed look at the Tucson Padres' Texas-style Renaissance man:

• He pitched twice on the road for the Tucson Sidewinders' Triple-A champions in 2006, including a solid five-inning start near his home in Round Rock in the Sidewinders' PCL-title-clinching playoff game.

"I was in Double-A that season and came up the last game of the season and pitched in Tacoma. That was really exciting for me. Then we were in the playoffs and I got to pitch in Round Rock.

"I was actually supposed to pitch here against Round Rock, but in bunting practice, the manager, (ex-UA Wildcat) Chip Hale, hit my finger. So I didn't pitch here and he pushed me back. It worked out really well because that's home."

• He was traded after the 2006 season from the Diamondbacks to the Yankees as part of the Randy Johnson deal, then spent the next two seasons bouncing between the minors and majors.

"That was a surprise. I really liked Arizona and the organization. But it was exciting to go to the Yankees. … (Between the Yankees and Pirates) I feel like I've gotten a lot better as a pitcher and learned a lot."

• With the Pirates in 2009, he arranged to catch a first pitch from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, chatted him up afterward, and later landed a Department of Agriculture internship working on tracking animal diseases.

"Well, my family raises longhorns, so that's something I'm definitely involved with and still interested in. That's something I'll always be involved with. I really enjoyed that internship experience."

• He spent much of 2010 and 2011 on the disabled list with shoulder problems, so this season is his first in full health since 2009, when he was 11-10 with a 3.92 ERA while throwing 176 2/3 innings for the Pirates.

"I needed the offseason to rest and get it completely better. I changed my arm exercises a little bit. I know I can pitch. My arm strength is coming back."

• After going 1-3 with a 14.54 ERA in his last four starts for San Diego, Ohlendorf rebounded by striking out eight Colorado Springs batters in a five-hit, five-plus-inning performance Thursday. Padres manager Terry Kennedy said Ohlendorf had an impressive sinker, and Ohlendorf said he also tested out his cutter.

"I want to get some good starts in a row and work on my cutter. I just want to make sure I do well. That's always the case."

Today

• What: Colorado Springs at Tucson Padres

• When: 7:05 p.m.

• Radio: 1600-AM

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Latest Sports Video

More videos

Hansen: Is UCLA an underachiever?

Ryan and Greg discuss whether UCLA is underachieving.


Follow the Arizona Daily Star