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.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.