The Yankees never made an attempt to lure Pedro Martinez to the Bronx, but now they can show off the original “Little Pedro.”
In need of a little extra pitching depth with David Phelps having made the team, the Yankees signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He’ll presumably pitch in Triple-A.
Ortiz, 39, made two starts and 20 relief appearances for the Cubs last season, amassing a 4.86 ERA. He was cut by the Giants last week after giving up six runs — three earned — in 10 2/3 innings this spring.
Ortiz last pitched in the American League in 2007, went he went 4-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 91 innings for the Twins. He earned the “Little Pedro” moniker in his youth with the Angels (back before everyone knew he was a few years older than his listed age). He spent six years with the Angels, winning 15 games in 2002 and 16 in 2003.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.