Cubs claim LHP Joe Ortiz off waivers from Texas


It was reported by the Cubs’ official Twitter handle yesterday that the team claimed left-handed pitcher Joe Ortiz off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

Ortiz (2-2, 4.23 ERA) made the Opening Day roster with the Rangers in 2013, making 32 relief appearances with the big league club, officially making his Major League debut on March 31.  He worked through 44 2/3 innings in his rookie season, allowing 46 hits, 26 runs (21 earned), five home runs, 10 walks, and 27 strikeouts with two holds.

The 24-year-old lefty was clipped by a motorcycle in January which resulted in his left foot being fractured. He underwent surgery after suffering the injury and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start out the year.

Ortiz spoke to reporters shortly after the accident and mentioned how lucky he was to escape with his life.

"“I think I was very lucky because I’ve actually seen people get run over and die in those accidents.” Ortiz told ESPN Dallas Fort-Worth in February."

He mentioned in the interview that he wasn’t paying attention while crossing the street, and that he was texting on his phone. Not that bright of an idea.

Tommy Hanson replaced him on the 40-man roster at the time, but was eligible to return in late May if there were no setbacks with rehab. He made a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Round Rock Express after tossing a scoreless inning for Texas’ Arizona League ball club.

The Rangers activated Ortiz at the end of July and optioned him to the Express where he was limited to just 15 relief appearances. He posted a solid 2.47 ERA and a 55/11 K/BB ratio in 58 innings, owning a career 2.44 ERA as a Minor Leaguer.

If Ortiz can manage to stay healthy, he could serve as a middle reliever with the Cubs in 2015.