Russ Ortiz opted out of his AAA contract today, ending his Yankees career. Ortiz was great for the Scranton Yankees going 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 3 starts. Ortiz was given an opt-out clause after 3 starts for AAA and chose to exercise it. The Yankees have now lost one of their few options for a 5th-starter if Sergio Mitre struggles. The options left appear to be Chad Gaudin, Josh Towers, or Kei Igawa.
WARNING: Another plea to the Yankees to get rid of Sergio Mitre.
Sergio Mitre was not exactly rocked on Monday night, but he still did not get the job done. Mitre was mostly damaged because of his own throwing error.
Still, Mitre has been everything but lights out in the MLB. There is someone in AAA who has been lights out, however: Russ Ortiz. Ortiz has been stellar in 2 starts for Scranton pitching 13 scoreless innings with only 5 hits allowed and 9 k’s.
Ortiz was not great for the Houston Astros this year, but has been good in the past- long long past.
So my idea is for the Yankees to DFA Mitre, call-up Ortiz, put Ortiz in the bullpen, and insert Chad Gaudin into the rotation.
If Ortiz is able to pitch well enough he can keep his job as a long-man and if Gaudin struggles they flip-flop the roles.
If Ortiz struggles, they can just get rid of him, too. No harm no foul.
It really is a win-win situation.
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The New York Yankees signed RHP Russ Ortiz to a minor-league deal today. Ortiz will report to AAA Scranton to help the in-need-of-starting Scranton Yankees. Ortiz was used as a 5th starter for the Astros, but did not win a game after April 26th.
In other news, the Redsox signed Paul Byrd to a minor-league deal today. Where were the Yankees on this one? Byrd is a highly-capable 5th starter, maybe even a 4th starter for some teams. He was partially responsible for the Yankees 2007 ALDS loss to the Indians, as he defeated the Yankees in the final post-season game at the Old Yankee Stadium. (I was there, he out-pitched both Wang and Mussina.)