First of all, let’s get right to the good news, on the official Dodger Twitter feed:
The Missing Link?…RHP Jon Link in the big leagues for the first time, joins #Dodgers. Russ Ortiz designated.
Hurrah! He’s gone! And thus ends the short and painful era of having the worst pitcher in baseball wearing Dodger blue. Shockingly, a mildly productive spring against inconsistent opponents didn’t mean more than six solid years of being horrible. Who’d have thunk? It’s just surprising that it took this long to happen, is all. Ortiz ends his Dodgers career with a line of 0-1, 10.29 ERA, 2.143 WHIP thanks to allowing 12.9 hits/9 and 6.4 BB/9, along with a trail of Dodger tears, and one surely hilarious entry in our season review series this fall.
I’ll have to come up with a new thing for the Ortiz DFA-o-Meter, so for now, this quick update to the right will have to do. So long, old man!
Now, I hate to throw even the slighest bit of questioning into this otherwise joyous occasion, but I have to wonder about why it is that Jon Link is coming up. It’s not that I have anything against Link, who will be making his major league debut; if anything, I was intrigued by his strikeout stuff and the fact that Baseball America named him as having the best slider in the White Sox system last year. He’s got a shot to be a decent middle reliever, if he can get over some control issues, so I’m happy to see him get a shot. (Juan Pierre, who Link was traded for along with Jon Ely, is hitting .186 for Chicago, by the way. Haaaaaaah.)
What I don’t understand, however, is the timing. Just an hour ago, Eric Stephen reported that Hong-Chih Kuo would throw today in San Bernardino, and if he felt okay, would probably get activated for the road trip. So if that’s the case, why bother bringing Link up now, as opposed to just doing a straight exchange of Kuo-for-Ortiz tomorrow? Maybe, as the title says, the club just couldn’t stand to see Ortiz in Dodger blue even one second longer – which I can completely sympathize with. It just seems to odd to bring Link up just for today’s game and then send him back down – and yes, my fondest dream is that Kuo then replaces Ramon Ortiz tomorrow, but I could never really hold out hope that we could lose both of these guys in just 24 hours.
Besides, Link hasn’t exactly been lighting it up as Albuquerque’s closer, as he’s got a 6.23 ERA and 2.308 WHIP next to his name (granted, in just 4.1 innings). By contrast, Luis Ayala’s allowed just 3 baserunners in his 4.1 innings, and Justin Miller’s allowed just 2 runs over 7 innings. So I’m not entirely sure what the reasoning is behind elevating Link over those guys
But then again, that’s not really the point, is it? At long last, half of the Ortiz blight across Dodger land has been lifted. It’s a good day to be a Dodger fan.