Less than a week after his stellar MLB debut, Luis Ortiz will rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates to start on Tuesday
Luis Ortiz dazzled for the Pittsburgh Pirates in his debut against the Cincinatti Reds last week, going 5.2 one-hit innings while striking 5 and touching 100-MPH on the radar gun. Many wondered if Ortiz would get another chance after his stellar debut, or if this would be his only appearance this season. Those fans will now be glad to know that they will see Ortiz again this season.
On his Sunday show on 93.7 The Fan, GM Ben Cherrington revealed that Ortiz would return to the Majors to face the Yankees on Tuesday. Ortiz would take the place of JT Brubaker, who left Thursday after 3 innings with right lat discomfort. Not 10 minutes later the Pirates made the move official via twitter that Brubaker would head to the 15-day IL, recalling Ortiz in his place. Ortiz will now take the start Tuesday against the Yankees.
Brubaker struggled in his last start before leaving. He is expected to return this season, but needed more time to recover. The opening of a roster spot due to injury also allowed the Pirates to recall Ortiz, who had served as the 29th-man on Tuesday. Roansy Contreras will still start on Wednesday.
If this happens to be the end of Brubaker’s season it should be remembered as a good one, despite the way it had ended. Brubaker put up strong numbers this season, especially of the middle portion of the season where he had a 3.78 ERA across 100 innings. Last year Brubaker’s major issue was the long-ball, which he’s cut down from 28 bombs in 124.1 innings to just 17 in 141.1 innings. Brubaker should be a fixture in the rotation next year.
In other injury news, David Bednar has been slowly progressing towards a return from his back injury. Bednar was placed on the 15-day IL back on August 3rd after sustaining a back injury. He’s made two rehab appearances so far for the Pirates’ Triple-A club, the Indianapolis Indians, and will make another before possibly returning.
Getting Bednar back will certainly help the back-end of the Pirates bullpen, who has struggled to hold down games in his absence. Since August 1st the Pirates rank dead last with a 11.09 ERA in high-leverage situations. The bullpen as a whole has the 7th highest ERA in baseball in that same time frame. If all goes well, that absence will end this week.
Pirates fans will have something to look forward to still in this lost season with Ortiz making his second start as a Major Leaguer. With two young, exciting arms pitching back-to-back between Ortiz and Contreras, fans will have a strong look at what the rotation could be next season.