As first reported by Jason Mackey and Alex Stumpf, the Pittsburgh Pirates will promote right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz for Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Ortiz was recently promoted to Indianapolis, where he had two drastically different starts, giving up four runs over four innings in his debut, followed by six no-hit innings earlier this week. Prior to that, the 24-year-old had a 4.64 ERA in 114.1 innings with Altoona, posting a 1.17 WHIP and 126 strikeouts.
Ortiz has worked himself into a Rule 5 draft protection for this off-season, so this is just moving up his impending addition to the 40-man roster. He has great stuff, hitting 101 MPH in his last start, but he can get very inconsistent at times, with shaky control or needing to rely on one pitch because the others aren’t working that day, usually leading to high pitch count innings. His combination of a 4.56 season ERA and averaging under five innings per start tells a good story of his season, but they hide the potential. Ortiz skipped right over High-A this season, jumping from Bradenton to Altoona. It took him until his start on August 9th to really put things together, but he has looked much better in these last six starts (except his Triple-A debut obviously).
I doubt he remains with the Pirates for more than the spot start regardless of results, but he could possibly return for the final week of the season, after the season in Indianapolis ends. Maybe you get the first Indianapolis start Ortiz, maybe you get the six no-hit innings version, but either way, he will probably impress you with his potential.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.