Ross Ohlendorf has weapons: a nasty mid-90s sinker and a good slider. Yet he was never considered to be an A-level starting pitching prospect, as his fastball didn’t keep its life over multiple innings and he didn’t have a third pitch. So the Yankees changed him to a middle reliever. He gained life on his fastball and had success.
So now Ohlendorf is with the big club, which considering his talents, is a smart move, as he has the potential to be a top relief pitcher. However, as of right now he is the pseudo-long-man. You’d have to assume this is a product of him being the “low man on the totem pole” and there being no other long reliever. Because, while Ohlendorf did start in the past, they moved him out of that role precisely because he wasn’t effective.
Now take a game like last night: Ohlendorf pitches admirably for his first inning before faltering later. It seems obvious that his future is as a one-inning guy. So why not try him in that role?
With the DL looming for both Brian Bruney and Kyle Farnsworth, there is an opportunity for Ohlendorf to step into one of their roles. The Yankees could then call up Edwar Ramirez to fill the other role and call up Rasner to be the long man. This bullpen configuration, to me, makes more sense.
Regarding Edwar Ramirez, I think it has to be him who is called up. I know that he has been boom or bust when with the Yanks – everywhere from giving up grand slams to striking out the side – but he simply has nothing left to accomplish in the minors. He dominates down there. The Yankees have to just let him pitch for the big league club and take his lumps sometimes if needs be.