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38-year-old Ramon Ortiz to step into Cubs rotation

Jul 1, 2011, 3:45 PM EDT

Ramon Ortiz AP

While Russ Ortiz is content in retirement, Ramon is still kicking around, and he’ll get a chance to step into the Cubs rotation in place of the injured Carlos Zambrano next week, the team announced today.

Ortiz made two starts and 14 relief appearances for the Dodgers last year, amassing a 6.30 ERA.  Prior to that, he hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2007.  He spent 2008 struggling in Japan.

Now 38, Ortiz is 6-3 with a 4.44 ERA and a 79/20 K/BB ratio in 95 1/3 innings as a member of Triple-A Iowa’s rotation this season.  The Cubs decided to give him a try rather than go back to youngster Casey Coleman.

Not that he should really care at all, but Ortiz could do more damage to his career numbers by continuing his comeback attempts.  As is, he’s still three games over .500 in his career at 85-82.  Plus, his ERA stands at 4.93.  If he struggles, he could join James Baldwin, Sidney Ponson, Glendon Rusch and Jose Lima as the only pitchers in major league history to throw at least 1,300 innings and post ERAs over 5.00.

  1. spudchukar - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    How does this possibly make sense? The Cubs, standing at 34-48, with 4 teams ahead of them by a wide margin, the Pittsburgh Pirates being one of those clubs, go with a 38-year-old has been. Usually, moves like this, carry the caveat, that “the team isn’t giving up”, and “we want to be fair to our fans”. But this is Cubsville, where the attendance isn’t effected by the product on the field. No one in AA or AAA could use some big league experience? If I am a Cubs fan I begin a movement to change the 7th inning stretch song, from the traditional,”Take me out to the ball game”, and instead institute Peggy Lee’s “Is that all there is?”

  2. SmackSaw - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    what is he 45? I could hit him!

  3. dodger88 - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    As bad as this season has been for the Dodgers, at least neither Russ or Ramon Ortiz has thrown a pitch for them!

    This is why Jim Henrdy should be fired. They don’t have any prospects worth calling up to get some experience in a lost season???????

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