Pitcher Russ Ortiz Goes Back to Minors

By mattgullette

Somebody is making some moves in the Dodgers bullpen, and I’m not talking about the pitching. Los Angeles finally chose to send reliever Russ Ortiz back to the minor leagues Sunday, a move that was probably long overdue.

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Possibly the best relief Ortiz has given the Dodgers this season is the fact that he won’t be coming out of the bullpen anytime soon.

Ortiz was reassigned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday (unfortunately Ramon Ortiz won’t be joining him) as the Dodgers hope to patch up a few holes in a bullpen that’s been feeling the blues this season.

After spending last year with Houston, the Dodgers signed Ortiz to a minor league option in the winter, making it the sixth team Ortiz has played on (including two stints with the San Francisco Giants). The 12-year veteran struggled in almost all of his outings allowing eight runs, ten hits, and 5 walks in only six appearances (that’s an ERA of 10.29).

This move will bring up righty Jon Link, his first trip to the big leagues. Link spent the previous five years in both the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres organizations, but he was acquired by the Dodgers as part of the trade that sent Juan Pierre to the Sox.

Hopefully Jon will be the ‘missing link’ to the Dodgers’ bullpen, because it’s been a rather bumpy ride in April. The Dodgers bullpen led the NL in several categories last season (including runs allowed), but this season have given up more than their fair share of runs. Ramon and Russ Ortiz combined have given up 14.

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