Ohlendorf likely to return soon

Ohlendorf likely to return soon

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf was back in the Pirates clubhouse after pitching four shutout innings in a rehab start for Double-A Altoona on Wednesday night.

Ohlendorf, who has been sidelined with back spasms since his April 7 start, threw 59 pitches (41 strikes) in the outing. He gave up three hits, one walk and struck out six.

Ohlendorf reports that he is feeling pretty good.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington is also encouraged by Ohlendorf's progress.

"I was very pleased," Huntington said. "Ross threw three pitches for strikes and had velocity in the zone and was able to move off the mound. There was a swinging bunt and other plays where he had to move off the mound without incident. If everything goes well with his side session the expectation is that he should be ready to go on May 10 against the Reds. That's the optimistic plan right now. There is some thought to stretching him out one more start. But the plan right now is to get him out there on the 10th."

How will Ohlendorf's return affect the Pirates' rotation?

"We will piece together the rotation after that," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We'll get through that day and look at it and maybe give guys an extra day. We've got a plan in place, and how that shakes out over the next couple of days will be determined."