Tampa Bay Rays sign Ramon Ortiz | The Process Report

Tampa Bay Rays sign Ramon Ortiz

By Tommy Rancel //

After completing the three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers – ensuring us all another 24 hours in first place – we learned of a Rays roster move. No, it was not the acquistion of Manny Ramirez, but it did involve a one-time member of the 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers. According to the International League’s transaction page, the Rays have signed 37-year-old Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal – assigning him to the Durham Bulls.

Ortiz made his major league debut in 1999 as a starting pitcher for the then Anaheim Angels. He spent six seasons with the Angels; all coming with Joe Maddon as coach for the team. In recent seasons, he has bounced around the league and did not pitch in the majors at all in 2008 & 2009.

In 2010, he resurfaced in Southern California once again as a member of the Dodgers. Ortiz made 16 appearances for the club – including two starts – with rather pedestrian stuff. His 6.30 ERA was not far off from his 5.45 FIP. Career-wise, he has been largely below-average with a career ERA of 4.93 and FIP of 5.08.

Ortiz sports a low 90s fastball and backs that up with a slider and change-up; both in the mid 80s. His career strikeout per nine innings rate of 5.58 is again unimpressive, but he doesn’t walk that many batters. In terms of batted-ball data, he has been pretty neutral, but has leaned slightly toward groundballs recently.

With a rash of injuries at the Triple-A level, the move looks to be one of organzational depth more than anything else as Durham heads toward the IL playoffs. The Rays big league club is also likely to poach some arms from the Bulls’ bullpen once September 1 rolls around. That said, if something goes horribly wrong at the MLB level (plague wipes out the entire rotation), Ortiz is a replacement level arm, whom Joe Maddon is familar with.

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