While Russ Ortiz is content in retirement, Ramon is still kicking around, and he’ll get a chance to step into the Cubs rotation in place of the injured Carlos Zambrano next week, the team announced today.
Ortiz made two starts and 14 relief appearances for the Dodgers last year, amassing a 6.30 ERA. Prior to that, he hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2007. He spent 2008 struggling in Japan.
Now 38, Ortiz is 6-3 with a 4.44 ERA and a 79/20 K/BB ratio in 95 1/3 innings as a member of Triple-A Iowa’s rotation this season. The Cubs decided to give him a try rather than go back to youngster Casey Coleman.
Not that he should really care at all, but Ortiz could do more damage to his career numbers by continuing his comeback attempts. As is, he’s still three games over .500 in his career at 85-82. Plus, his ERA stands at 4.93. If he struggles, he could join James Baldwin, Sidney Ponson, Glendon Rusch and Jose Lima as the only pitchers in major league history to throw at least 1,300 innings and post ERAs over 5.00.