Toronto’s rotation is so wrecked by injuries that the Blue Jays have called up 40-year-old Ramon Ortiz to start tonight against the Red Sox. Seriously, here’s proof from the Blue Jays’ official website and everything:
Obviously being 40 years old doesn’t preclude someone from still being a good pitcher, but being 40 years old and Ramon Ortiz does. He didn’t pitch in the majors at all last season and hasn’t had an ERA below 4.75 since way back in 2004. Since then Ortiz has logged 533 innings in the majors with a 5.47 ERA while striking out just 5.1 batters per nine innings.
And yes, I realize by writing a post about this Ortiz is probably destined to throw seven innings of one-run ball versus Boston tonight. In the meantime the Blue Jays are +200 gambling underdogs, which means a $100 bet would win $200 and they’re expected to win 33.3 percent of the time. That’s actually not too crazy considering Jon Lester is good and the Blue Jays have only won 36.1 percent of their games this season before sticking Ortiz in the rotation.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.