PITTSBURGH -- The severity of Ross Ohlendorf's shoulder injury, which prompted his early exit from Friday's 4-3 marathon win over the Rockies, is something the Pirates are expected to get a better grasp on over the weekend. In the meantime, the club can only hope that the ailment does not turn out to be similar to the one that cost Ohlendorf the final six weeks of the 2010 season.
The right shoulder discomfort surfaced in the third. Ohlendorf said he felt some tightness on one pitch, threw a couple more and then decided it was best for him to end his night there. After inducing a deep fly ball out, Ohlendorf summoned head athletic trainer Brad Henderson and then headed into the dugout with two out in the inning.
"I felt like I needed to come out," said Ohlendorf.
Ohlendorf said the area of discomfort is "very close" to the area that gave him problems last summer. He added, though, that he didn't think it was as bad this time.
"I'm pretty sure it's not," Ohlendorf said. "I'm not sure how it will feel tomorrow."
The Pirates could be forced to place Ohlendorf on the disabled list regardless, given how taxed the bullpen is after Friday's 14-inning game. With Evan Meek's health questionable as well, manager Clint Hurdle hinted strongly that the club will be calling up another pitcher before Saturday's game. That could leave Pittsburgh no choice, but to move Ohlendorf to the DL.
Should Ohlendorf be out for any extended period of time, Jeff Karstens, who pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief on Friday, would be the likely candidate to step into the rotation.