The Angels are designating reliever Oliver Ortega for assignment, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. That’s the corresponding 40-man roster move for infielder Brandon Drury, who has officially inked a two-year free agent contract.
Ortega has appeared in the majors in each of the past two seasons. The right-hander debuted as a September call-up in 2021, making his first eight MLB appearances late in the year. He logged a fair bit of action in 2022, coming out of the bullpen on 27 occasions and tallying 34 innings. Ortega posted a solid 3.71 ERA over that stretch, though his peripherals were less impressive. He struck out a slightly below-average 22.3% of opponents while walking batters at a lofty 12.2% clip.
It was a different story at Triple-A Salt Lake, where a rough ERA belied better underlying marks. In 25 2/3 innings as a Bee, he was tagged for a 5.96 ERA. His 22.3% strikeout rate there was a match for his MLB figure, but he nearly halved his walk rate to a solid 6.6% clip. Ortega posted slightly better than average ground-ball numbers at both stops.
Ortega throws fairly hard, averaging a bit north of 96 MPH on his fastball during his MLB time. He’s paired that with a low-80s curveball that has been a quality swing-and-miss offering. Both pitches have been hit hard when opponents have made contact, however. The 26-year-old has shown inconsistent control throughout his minor league career, and the walks contributed to squeezing him off the Halos roster entirely.
Initially an amateur signee out of the Dominican Republic, Ortega has played seven-plus seasons in the Los Angeles organization. His time with the franchise could now be nearing its end, as the Halos will have a week to trade him or try to run him through waivers. He still has two minor league option years remaining, meaning another team could freely move him between MLB and the upper minors for the foreseeable future if they’re willing to keep him on the 40-man roster. Ortega doesn’t have the requisite service time to refuse an outright assignment, so he’d stick in the organization if he goes unclaimed on waivers.
At first glance I read “Angels Designate Darren Oliver.”
This one belongs to the Reds
Angels fans, what gives? He doesn’t look that bad to me.
Of course, my team’s bullpen loves to give up walks and taters…
His 2022 season paralleled the team in many ways. Had a great start but his command went sideways at the end of May and he never fully got back on track. Intermittently flashed his potential after that. Great curveball that gets a lot of whiffs below the zone when he locates well
Ortega had a 13 game stretch in the middle of the season where he had an ERA of 7.20 and an FIP of 5.78. He was wildly inconsistent, but looked good at times.
What the three guys above said plus we had three absolute stud relievers in AA last year who will hit AAA/MLB this year.
If Ben Joyce is healthy, he and his 100-103 MPH fastball might jump all the way to the big club. Now.
(Google “Ben Joyce fastball” for some easy entertainment)
Only reason he fell in the draft is prior health issues.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of them on the Angels this year, Eric Torres, Luke Murphy, Kolton Ingram, and Joyce. If Loup and Tepera struggle again, we may see them sooner than expected.
Torres and Murphy should get some time with the big club in Tempe.
Luke Murphy was a guy I wanted the Angels to draft abs he’s been my favorite prospect. But Torres looked as good or better last year.
Middle relievers are disposable assets. They are far easier to replace at a lower cost than position players or starters.
Only bad middle relievers are disposable assets. Teams throw away a lot more games in the 6th and 7th than the 8th and nice.
Hard to believe people still don’t understand this.
The most important pitcher the Angels have had this century is Scot Shields.
Scot Shields is still second only to Troy Percival in career games pitched for the Angels. He was such a big part of that run of playoff teams the Angels had. I don’t know if I would say he was the most important pitcher the Angels had this century, but he was definitely much more important than most people probably realize. He was certainly one of my favorites of that era.
Good middle relievers are only a season away from being bad middle relievers.
Hard to believe people still don’t understand this.
That would probably be why the Angels haven’t won much for 20 years.
Everyone definition may be different. There are a few to choose from.
Bartolo Colon, Cy Young Winner
K0Rod, Still holds the single season record in saves
Shohei Ohtani – MVP
For me personally, Lackey starting game 7 and winning and going on to have a solid career makes him the most important. I would probably put k-Rod 2nd and Weaver 3rd.
Mud on the wall pitchers are one season away from being bad. This is what so many fans, and the Angels don’t understand.
If a team throws 15 mud on the wall pitchers, they’ll find one that has a good season, and then will stink the next year. The Angels do this every year. They depend on the mud on the wall success story, last year it was was Herget, but he’s just the latest, and because it’s such a small sample size, he’ll, like the many that have come before, stink the next year.
The mud on the wall approach doesn’t work. Teams that prioritize the pen do a much better job on RPs who pitch well for several years, not just one.
How many years is this team going to make the same stupid mistake? How many years are fans not going to see the obvious?
Colon really only had one good year. Ohtani is now at two.
Shields was so valuable because he pitched all the time, and Scioscia, who had no idea how to use a bullpen, didn’t have to manage a bullpen.
I think he was the most important pitcher to the team, and it’s no coincidence the Angels stopped being the class of this division, when he stopped being one of the best RPs in baseball.
There are a number of good pitchers with value such as Ryan, Tanana, Chance, Harvey and so on. Your point is still valid though about Shields. He is probably my favorite relief pitcher. Really nice guy too, if you have ever met him.
Halo11, I think they know it’s better to have proven bullpen pieces. The problem is that the more proven the more money you need to sign. Last year they had a proven backend. No one lived up to themselves. Even more proven pitchers are not a sure thing. I think the best thing is have a good farm system. Even with them you will have to give them high leverage innings to see. Having said that I think they would be best served by getting a proven closer. This might not be possible. I did read that they were talking to the Whitesox about Liam Hendriks. That was before the Mets got involved. Hopefully the Mets don’t make a trade and the Angels can.
It’s tough to build the right bullpen. But it has to be a priority. The mud on the wall approach doesn’t work.
By the way, the century started in 20p1.
Halo11, Sorry, missed that about the century. I agree it is hard the right bullpen and even harder to predict fully. I also agree this should be the # 1 priority and the area that will affect the team most. The Angels need to start winning close games and a good closer can go a long way.
The Angels signed quality bullpen arms just last year, Loup, Iglesias, Tepera. It didn’t change anything. Over the years, I agree they haven’t prioritized bullpen arms, but they did last year and it changed nothing.
A good bullpen doesn’t guarantee anything either. The White Sox had a great bullpen last year, it didn’t get them anywhere. You need a complete team.
Angel fans complained about neglecting pitching for years. I believe the Angels have changed their approach over the past couple year. I know you say you haven’t seen any different, but I think it has been pretty significant.
The Angels drafted nothing but pitchers after years of neglecting pitchers. Perry has a plan. He rather develop pitching and build within, but you can’t do that when your farm system is devoid of talent. You have to start somewhere and it doesn’t happen overnight. The long term goal is to develop talent rather than buy talent.
The Angel spent a lot of money on pitching last year. The spent well over $50M between Thor and the aforementioned bullpen arms. Unfortunately, it didn’t change much, but that is free agency, you don’t know how a change of team and location is going to effect a player.
The Angel have invested more in the international market. Last year, they signed Edgar Quero, Denzer Guzman, and Walbert Urena. Quero and Guzman are top 5 in the organization. They followed that up the following year by signing Nelson Rada, Randy DeJesus, and 7 other pitchers. DeJesus and Rada are top 20 in the Angel organization. Nixon Encarnacion is the first of the pitchers to make the list.
Angel fans complained about the lineup being to top heavy and their lack of depth.
. The acquisitions of Renfroe and Drury have help stretch out the lineup. Urshela helps the team in case Walsh or Rendon get hurts. Tyler Anderson helps solidify a solid rotation.
Lastly, the Angels have not signed anyone to a bloated contract in the past couple years All the recent acquisitions have been short term and sensible.
I believe there has been plenty of change in approach and philosophy with the Angels since Perry has arrived even if you haven’t noticed. I think it is fair to say a lot of the casual fans won’t notice a difference until the Angels make the playoffs.
Two seasons in a row where Perry has really screwed up.
And he wasted the best pick the Angels have had this century.
Having Scott Shields on your roster was like having an elite reliever as your set-up man. I think he led the league in the “holds” category twice. He would usually pitch about 100 innings per year with an amazing WHIP,K/9, and low ERA. Very Underrated.
Scot Shields was good, but he was still a set-up guy. He pitched a lot of gamed and pitched multiple innings several times. He pitched less than 700 innings for his career with a career WAR of 12. K-Rod led the league in saves 3 times. He was as close to automatic as you come. The pair of them were great for a period of 4 or 5 years.
Ortega was excellent in Wednesday.
DraftPick, you and I are going to be the only 2 people on here that knows what that means haha
Nope. I know the reference. Damn good series, looking forward to season 2.
Alright cool I take it all back!!! Haha
Tim Burton tv series… even old people like Tim Burton 🙂
I thought only old people liked Tim Burton.
I just looked up his stats for pitching on Wednesday. It was slightly above average. Good call.
I sincerely doubt that.
Why the long name my friend?
There are little signs that a team is improving. We’ve gone from claiming guys like Ortega to cutting them loose. That’s one of them.
We’re still always from agonizing over roster decisions, but we’re heading there. Hopefully.
Feels like a very Brewers-y pickup. Young, optionable, throws hard and has a potential plus secondary pitch.
This is your queue Pirates go get him.
Was relied on heavy with Joe. Then was given zero chance to stick. Hope he does well. Angels didn’t want to give Orrega or Mayers minor league deals huh?