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Cubs Claim Joseph Ortiz On Waivers From Rangers

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And you're saying, Joseph who? Come inside, dear reader, and find out.

Duane Burleson

The Cubs have made their first move of the 2014-15 offseason:

Who's Joseph Ortiz? Via press release from the Cubs?

Ortiz, 24, went 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA (21 ER/44.2 IP) in 32 relief appearances for the Rangers in 2013 before being limited to only 15 minor league appearances last season due to a fractured left foot. The southpaw began the 2014 season on the 60-day disabled list and made two rehab appearances with the organization’s rookie-league club in Arizona in July before completing his campaign with 13 relief outings with Double-A Frisco (0-2, one save, 4.50 ERA).

A native of Venezuela, Ortiz originally signed with Texas as a non-drafted free agent on August 28, 2006. He is 18-15 with 31 saves and a 2.44 ERA (87 ER/320.2 IP) in 217 relief appearances covering eight minor league seasons.

The Cubs have been rumored to be looking for "experienced" lefthanded relievers, and Ortiz does have that one year's worth of major-league relief experience with the Rangers. His baseball-reference page lists him at 5-7, 175, though he looks bigger in the photo above. He actually pitched twice against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in 2013, in this game and this game, allowing no runs in 3⅔ innings, striking out four with no walks. Maybe the brass saw something they liked in those appearances and continued to follow him after that. Having seen both those games, I can tell you I have absolutely no specific memory of watching him pitch, just another obscure lefty on an opponent's roster.

It appears to be a useful nove, and if healthy (the injury was non-baseball-related, via this tweet), Ortiz could be in the mix for the 2015 major-league bullpen. He turned 24 in August.

The 40-man roster is now full.