Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf participated in a live online chat with fans on Tuesday. During the chat, Ohlendorf answered questions about the strength of his arm coming back from injury, his nickname preference, the impact of new manager Clint Hurdle and more. The complete chat transcript follows.
Ohlendorf: Hi Fans, welcome to today's chat. I'm looking forward to answering as many questions as I can before our 1:30 team meeting.
bucsin09: Ross, what is your favorite book?
Ohlendorf: Thanks for the question. As it sounds like you have heard, I have been in the habit of reading on game days over the last few seasons. While I don't have a favorite book, I have several favorite authors. Some of these are Dan Brown, Patricia Cornwell, Daniel Silva and Dick Francis. I generally read mysteries and detective type books.
Edmonds15: Ross, you appeared to regain your 2009 form this past July and August. Are you set to enter 2011 healthy and ready to match your last 11 starts?
Ohlendorf: Edmonds, while the season didn't get off to the best start for me, I was very happy with how I pitched those two months and feel I learned a lot from my early season struggles. My arm is feeling great right now, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season.
wewill1992: What pitch do you feel is your out pitch?
Ohlendorf: That is a question I am asked often but I don't always have the same answer. My most important pitch is my fastball, in large part because I throw it a vast majority of the time. I always feel I will have a great game if I am able to command my fastball, throwing quality strikes to both sides of the plate. As far as my best strikeout pitch, the answer varies game to game. I would say my slider most often gives me the most swings and misses, but there are games where my changeup or high fastball will get me strikeouts as well. I hope that answers your question.
sumboddy: What nickname do you prefer, Boss Ross or Mr. Wonderful?
Ohlendorf: Sumboddy, thanks for your question. "Boss" was my nickname in college, and I know radio host Rocco DeMaro brought it back last year as well. My teammates tend to stick to "Ross," "Dorf" and "Ohley," all of which work well for me. It is funny that you asked about "Mr. Wonderful." The Rockies' announcers, I believe, are the ones who started that rumor. I think they may have confused me with Dodgers' pitcher Justin Orenduff, but I had never heard that until Huston Street, one of my friends growing up, told me the Rockies' announcers had said it was my nickname on TV.
Ohlendorf: I have time for one more before our meeting ...
bucsfan87: How much impact will Clint Hurdle have on the rotation and how do you look to improve going into the 2011 season?
Ohlendorf: Clint has already been making a great impression on all of us down here at mini-camp this week. He has great energy and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the game. He has been to the World Series twice in the last five years and we are all working toward sending him back there again soon!
Ohlendorf: Thank you all for the great questions. I'm looking forward to answering more on the Winter Caravan and PirateFest at the end of the month.