A year ago, Luis Ortiz was pitching for Bradenton in Single A. A month ago he was pitching for his Double-A Altoona. Two weeks ago he was pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis. With another mouthwatering outing on Sunday, Ortiz’s stock continues to climb.
Ortiz got off to his final shocking start in a game against the Cubs at his Park in his PNC, which the Pirates lost 8–3, hitting a career-high seven batters in 4 2/3 innings. I let go. He almost made history.
“I really enjoyed getting out there and going through some very tough line-ups and being challenged in a certain way, but at the same time, a lot of hard work that I put in paid off a lot. Team interpreter Mike Gonzalez said, “Every day there’s something to learn. It’s an opportunity to grow and I’m really excited and grateful for this opportunity.”
Manager Derek Shelton said, “I thought I’d see you twice in three days.
The 23-year-old was most dominant in his second frame, pitching a perfect inning removing just one of his shots. He defeated Nico Herner in his three places. He finished third ahead of Franmil Reyes. He scored two quick punches against PJ. Higgins was one shot away from joining the rare club that Cubs’ Hayden Wesneski joined a few days ago.
Higgins ended up soiling the slider to play the spoiler, causing a wave of groans from fans realizing that Ortiz had missed the feat. immediately dispatched Higgins one pitch later and knocked him out with a 99.6 mph inside fastball. “My focus was just to get out there and attack the zone and do my best,” Ortiz said. “That’s always been my mindset. This is how I continue.”
This aggressive mentality produces compelling results. Ortiz made three starts in 15 1/3 innings (1.17 ERA) and struck out 17 times in which he allowed two earned runs. Those numbers are already impressive, but the trait that struck Shelton was Ortiz’s coolness. Ortiz made his debut in the second half of a doubleheader against the Reds in Cincinnati. The environment was relatively comfortable. But the 23-year-old’s second start was in front of a packed Yankee Stadium where Aaron Judge hit his 59th home run.
“He’s not scared,” Shelton said before Thursday’s game. “The big leagues don’t take anything away from the big league teams, but most of all it’s the atmosphere. Cincinnati [vs] split doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The judge follows up. He went out and pitched like he would in any other game. That’s the most exciting thing about him for me. the way he treated himself. How to treat him when he comes out. Conversation next day. ”
Ortiz may have at least one more opportunity for him to start, if not two, by the end of the season. No matter how many more games he plays, he has an opportunity ahead of him to potentially gain more endurance and claim a claim in next year’s rotation. As it stands, it looks like the Pirates have three real locks in the rotation for Day One next year: Mitch Keller, Roangie Contreras, and JT Brubaker. Johann Oviedo, who had seven strikeouts in seven goalless balls on Saturday, is also expected to be firmly in the mix. If Ortiz keeps pushing to the end, he deserves consideration for a spot too. Ortiz will benefit from an improved 3rd tone and the possibility of adding a 4th tone. Ortiz, in his first three starts, almost without exception he threw four-seam fastballs and sliders, and rarely threw his switch Show Me. Of the 237 pitches Ortiz threw as a major league player, only 5.1% were changeups. Ortiz said he has thrown sinkers in the past, but he has yet to throw one at the major league level.
“Now I think we see him as a starter. Hopefully he will develop his own pitch or add another one on top of it,” Shelton said. “The fact that he has 100 makes it difficult to generate contacts at times and makes him a good back-end guy. But the fact is he’s a novice at the moment. The great thing about developing a player as a starter is that you have the opportunity to place them in another role even if they may not be successful as a starter. But for now, we have Ortiz as a starter. “
- Cubs rout Pirates 8-3, and Ortiz’s rise continues unabated
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