Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Russ Ortiz Sketch Comedy Routine Must End

With the news yesterday that James McDonald has been removed from starting rotation consideration, the implications on the remaining prospective candidate base are huge. First, on McDonald:

"I'm probably leaning at this point to keeping him in the bullpen,'' Torre said.

Torre cited the performances of veterans Ramon Ortiz and Russ Ortiz -- who are in camp as non-roster invitees and neither of whom has given up a run in the Cactus League thus far -- and Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger, both of whom are on the 40-man roster and out of minor league options, as reasons why McDonald is out of the running.

McDonald has struggled in both of his Cactus League appearances, giving up six earned run on eight hits in four innings.

It's disappointing for McDonald, whom I think hasn't hit his stride yet and still has great potential. But it's more disappointing for Dodger fans who see a huge Titanic-style disaster (the boat, not the movie) on the horizon: Russ Ortiz. Yes, SoSG Delino's nemesis and fantasy draft nightmare is still, illogically, a viable candidate to be the Dodgers' fifth starter, as part of Ned Colletti's spaghetti strategy to spring signings. This, despite the fact that Ortiz's spring performances (including yesterday vs. the White Sox) are shaky:

Veteran Russ Ortiz, in camp on a minor league contract and trying to resurrect a career that appeared last season to be on life support, started and went four shaky innings on a day when he had been slated for five. He gave up two earned runs and six hits over four innings and was in constant trouble, the White Sox putting runners into scoring position in each of the first three innings.

Rule 5 right-hander Carlos Monasterios, meanwhile, entered to start the sixth and pitched three shutout innings without giving up a hit.

Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has a great piece placing odds on who might be the fifth starter, and Russ Ortiz is waaaaaay at the bottom, at 0.0000001%. But to be fair, these odds also reflect a deep-seeded hatred of Russ Ortiz:

If you’re wondering why I’m giving slightly more hope to one busted R.Ortiz over another, it’s because Ramon has thrown nearly twice the innings Russ has in camp – and because I’ll be the first to admit I have an irrational hatred of Russ Ortiz. The Giants and D-Backs connections, the huge contract, the total flameout, the age – I don’t want any part of it.

We're totally aligned with MSTI on this. We Sons (and I'm also including Orel as well as myself) don't like the idea of Russ Ortiz hanging around, either, and it's time for this tomato can to get off the depth chart altogether. If management's obsession is with Ortizes, we still have Ramon in camp, and we can always give Tito a call.

Enough with the comedy, Ned and Joe. Cut him off.


Alex Cora said...

Carlos sounded pretty good on the radio - Eric Collins was in mid season form jumping out of his chair in describing him yesterday. Only caveat is that I believe he was pitching to crappier people in their lineup.

Josh S. said...

In three innings, Monasterios faced Alejandro de Aza (twice), Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham, Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones, Alexei Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Donny Lucy, and Jordan Danks. He walked Pierre and didn't allow a hit.

He did, however, have a balk and a throwing error.

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

Part of me is tempted to pick him up on my fantasy team. He'll cost me far less than he did the diamondbacks . And it would be the greatest of ironies if he turned his corpse like career around only to benefit me. Besides, I need a frenemy in my life.