Orioles sign 40-year-old former Expo Tomo Ohka to a Minor League deal
Last time we checked in, former Major Leaguer Tomo Ohka spent 2014 pitching for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish after his attempt at an MLB comeback as a knuckleballer (!) for the Blue Jays sputtered out in Spring Training. Here's a photo of him presumably getting tips from R.A. Dickey:
But after the Bluefish, Ohka went to the Fukushima Hopes of the Baseball Challenge League (Japan's independent semi-pro league), and now he's ready for MLB comeback attempt No. 2: On Thursday, the Orioles signed the former Expo to a Minor League contract, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.
This is particularly cool for two reasons:
1. MLB always needs more knuckleballers, particularly of the elder statesman variety.
2. If he makes it to the big leagues, he'd join Bartolo Colon as the only ex-Expos (Ex2pos?) remaining in MLB.
Ohka pitched for Montreal from 2001-04, and played 10 seasons overall in the Majors. His final season with the Indians wasn't great -- a 5.96 ERA over 71 innings pitched -- but he did once throw a 77-pitch perfect game in Triple-A and got a Simpsons shoutout:
Plus, like we said, he's a 40-year old former Expo who developed a knuckleball to make a comeback in MLB. If you're not rooting for him yet, you really should be.