Dodgers sign Russ Ortiz, for some reason

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According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers have signed right-hander Russ Ortiz and outfielder Michael Restovich to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training.

Ortiz, 35, was 3-6 with a 5.57 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 23 games (13
starts) with the Astros in 2009, his first full season back from Tommy
John surgery, but was released by the club in July. The Dodgers have
lost Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla this winter, so he
should get a chance to win a rotation spot, according to Gurnick.

How Ortiz keeps getting major league opportunities is positively
baffling. He has averaged 4.7 BB/9 during his career, led the league in
walks twice, and worst of all, he has tallied a 6.56 ERA since 2005.
We’re talking about the Dodgers here, the same team who gave Eric
Milton and Jason Schmidt shots in their rotation last season, but not
promising left-hander Scott Elbert. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be
this silly again, but don’t be surprised to see Elbert get similarly
shafted this season.

Mets are considering pushing back Jacob deGrom’s next start

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at AT&T Park on August 18, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Mets are concerned with starter Jacob deGrom and are considering pushing back his next start, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. The club thinks the right-hander is fatigued.

deGrom, 28, has had another strong season, currently standing with a 2.96 ERA and a 137/32 K/BB ratio in 143 innings. However, he’s battled command issues in his last two starts. Against the Giants and Cardinals, he gave up a combined 13 earned runs on 25 hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in nine and two-thirds innings.

The Mets are already without Steven Matz, Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jon Niese. deGrom’s recent bout is just the latest in what has been a season-long starting pitching struggle for the club. Nevertheless, only the Cubs (2.85) and Nationals (3.57) have posted a better aggregate starting pitching ERA than the Mets’ 3.66.

Rangers call up Carlos Gomez, designate Drew Stubbs for assignment

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Carlos Gomez #30 of the Houston Astros waits for batting practice to being before playing the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Rangers have called up outfielder Carlos Gomez from Triple-A Round Rock and designated outfielder Drew Stubbs for assignment, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Gomez is in Thursday night’s starting lineup against the Indians, batting eighth and playing left field.

Gomez, 30, put up a paltry .210/.272/.322 triple-slash line in 323 plate appearances for the Astros. That forced the Astros to designate him for assignment before eventually releasing him earlier this month.

In 14 plate appearances with Round Rock, Gomez racked up two singles, a double, and a triple. The Rangers hope he can fill the void left by Shin-Soo Choo, who is expected to miss the rest of the season.