Ramon Ortiz didn’t pitch in the majors this year, spending the whole season at Triple-A in the Yankees’ farm system, and now the 39-year-old right-hander has agreed to a minor league deal with the Blue Jays.
Toronto also signed journeyman outfielder Ryan Langerhans, who presumably has a much better chance than Ortiz of actually playing for the Blue Jays in 2013.
It’s amazing that Ortiz was able to have an 11-year career in the big leagues considering he had an ERA below 4.00 exactly one time, way back in 2002, and hasn’t posted an ERA below 4.43 since then. During that nine-season span he threw 837 innings with a 5.26 ERA, yet was employed by seven different MLB teams. Must be a helluva guy.
Langerhans is a good defensive outfielder with a career .226 batting average and .704 OPS in 593 games, but the 33-year-old hasn’t gotten more than 150 plate appearances in the majors since 2007.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.