Ortiz Gone; Draft Signings


Posted Jun 14, 2006


Late Monday night the Diamondbacks decided to pay Russ Ortiz $21 million not to pitch for them. In a tough week that included steroid allegations and an extended losing streak Scout.com gives you the Inside info, including reaction from Brandon Webb and Josh Byrnes; ALSO: Ken Kendrick on Jason Grimsley; BoMel on Enrique Gonzalez; Gonzo's power outage; D'Backs draft signings.

INSIDE PITCH
Barring a trade, which is highly unlikely, the Diamondbacks will end up eating $21.5 million -- the remaining balance of Russ Ortiz's contract -- after designating the struggling right-hander for assignment on Tuesday.
It would be the largest straight salary dump in major league history.
The previous high was the $14.1 million the Tigers paid out to infielder, and current Diamondback, Damion Easley in March 2003.
"We're like most clubs: every dollar counts," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "You want to spend them as effectively as possible. That affected the decision, but we also were true to ourselves, and we want to put our best 25 on the field and try to win games. That led us to our decision.
"Obviously we owe Russ a lot of money going forward. The flip side is we probably have more young talent than anyone in baseball, and that's a good thing in managing the payroll."
Ortiz, 32, had only one victory in his past 19 starts for Arizona dating back to last season, when he was 5-11 with a 6.89 ERA. This year, he went 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA in six starts. The decision to let him go was made late Monday night.
"There was just a lot of baggage, and it's tough to get through that when you're struggling in a particular place for so long," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "The change of scenery might be the best thing in the world for him. He can clear his head. He doesn't have some of the negativity and the record and so forth."
Ortiz wasn't available for comment, but his agent said the pitcher wished he could have turned things around in Arizona, where he makes his offseason home in Mesa.
"I think Russ Ortiz can still be the same pitcher he was before he was with the Diamondbacks. He just has to go out there and do it," agent John Boggs said. "The only thing that frustrates him is he'd like to prove to everyone in Arizona that he is still the kind of pitcher that was signed a couple of a years ago."
As for the money the Diamondbacks will eat in the deal, Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb said it was a shocker to the entire team.
"This tells me they're pretty much willing to do anything, and money apparently isn't an option," Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb said. "They're looking to get better, and they felt this was how to do it."
REPLAY: Rookie right-hander Enrique Gonzalez threw a one-hitter over seven scoreless innings, and the bullpen helped preserve a 2-1 victory over the Giants at Chase Field, snapping the Diamondbacks' season-high, seven-game losing streak.
Gonzalez (2-0), who has allowed only three earned runs in his first three major league starts, lowered his ERA to 1.64. He issued two walks and had four strikeouts, giving him 20 strikeouts to date against just four walks.
After giving up a first-inning single to Omar Vizquel, he retired 18 consecutive batters.
"Enrique was the story," manager Bob Melvin said. "Velocity, command, confidence. ... The guy has just been impressive, and after what we've been through here to go out there and show the presence and confidence, for a young guy like that, it certainly gets everybody's attention."

NOTES, QUOTES
--LHP Randy Choate had his contract purchased from Triple-A Tucson, and he will take Russ Ortiz's spot on the 40-man roster after the right-hander was designated for assignment. With Terry Mulholland still on the disabled list (inner ear infection), Choate is the only left-hander presently on the Diamondbacks staff.
Choate, who arrived to the clubhouse about 30 minutes before Tuesday's game against the Giants, will be used primarily as a left-handed specialist.
"We haven't had that, other than Terry early on, and really, Terry was a long guy as opposed to a situational guy," manager Bob Melvin said. "So now we have a left-hander that can fill that role, and Randy's pitched in it before."
Choate was 3-0 with five saves and a 2.45 ERA in 32 games this season for Tucson.
--3B Chad Tracy hit his team-leading 11th home run with a first-inning shot off Giants RHP Jamey Wright.
--RHP Luis Vizcaino, despite giving up an eighth-inning home run to the Giants' Eliezer Alfonzo, is tied for first in the National League with 14 holds. He also is tied for second in the majors, along with teammate Brandon Lyon.
--The Diamondbacks have not announced who will start Saturday's game at Texas. RHP Russ Ortiz would have been the scheduled starter, but after he was designated for assignment on Tuesday, the team will be looking for a spot starter and could turn to long reliever Kevin Jarvis, if he doesn't need to be used in the days leading up to that game.
--Arizona signed five of its picks from last week's draft: RHP Hector Ambriz, a fifth-rounder from UCLA; RHP Chase Christianson, an eight-rounder from the University of South Alabama; OF Tyler Jones, a 19th-rounder also from South Alabama; OF Daniel Perales, a 22nd-rounder from USC; and OF Shane Byrne, a 25th-rounder from Tennessee State. The Diamondbacks also signed non-drafted SS Jason Watson from the University of Toledo. All six were assigned to Rookie League Missoula.
BY THE NUMBERS: 47 -- Consecutive games Luis Gonzalez has gone without a home run, the longest homerless streak of any position player on the team as of June 11.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He didn't want to be a distraction? Well, clearly he was a distraction. It's remained a distraction. ...Our team hasn't played the same since the day this thing happened. You can see it out there." -- Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick, on relief pitcher Jason Grimsley.

ROSTER REPORT
MEDICAL WATCH:
LHP Terry Mulholland, who had been on the disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, was activated June 3. He returned to the disabled list June 6 with an inner ear infection.
RHP Juan Cruz was placed on the disabled list with a sore shoulder June 7. He is scheduled to throw off a mound June 13.
3B Chad Tracy sat out June 7 with a sore back, but he returned to the lineup June 8.

Player Stats


LINEUP

1. Craig Counsell, SS
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .273 22 3 6 1 0 1 2 1
Season .284 215 32 61 9 3 1 20 7

2. Eric Byrnes, CF
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .138 29 2 4 1 0 1 3 0
Season .296 189 32 56 15 1 10 24 7

3. Chad Tracy, 3B
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .190 21 1 4 0 0 1 3 0
Season .280 246 38 69 17 0 11 36 3

4. Luis Gonzalez, LF
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .167 24 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
Season .261 230 40 60 20 1 5 28 0

5. Conor Jackson, 1B
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .208 24 1 5 0 0 0 3 0
Season .280 182 29 51 11 0 6 36 0

6. Shawn Green, RF
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .174 23 1 4 0 1 0 2 0
Season .314 220 31 69 10 3 4 24 4

7. Johnny Estrada, C
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .391 23 3 9 0 0 1 4 0
Season .314 169 23 53 12 0 5 37 0

8. Orlando Hudson, 2B
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .348 23 1 8 3 0 0 1 0
Season .254 224 25 57 10 4 2 18 5

9. Enrique Gonzalez, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 4 Games .000 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


OTHER ROSTER PLAYERS

Greg Aquino,
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Miguel Batista, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .125 16 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Season .133 30 2 4 0 0 0 1 0

Tony Clark, 1B
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .308 13 3 4 0 0 2 2 0
Season .188 80 11 15 4 0 5 14 0

Juan Cruz, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .000 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Casey Daigle,
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Jeff DaVanon, RF
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .273 22 3 6 2 0 1 4 0
Season .287 122 22 35 6 2 3 22 4

Damion Easley, SS
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .333 21 4 7 1 0 4 10 0
Season .264 91 14 24 5 1 6 21 0

Andy Green, LF
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .250 8 5 2 1 0 0 0 0
Season .255 47 13 12 3 0 1 4 1

Jason Grimsley,
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Orlando Hernandez, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .000 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Dustin Nippert, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 1 Games .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Russ Ortiz, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 6 Games .000 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season .000 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Chris Snyder, C
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .292 24 3 7 0 0 1 5 0
Season .250 64 5 16 3 0 3 14 0

Claudio Vargas, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last Game .500 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Last 7 Games .200 10 1 2 2 0 0 0 0
Season .158 19 1 3 2 0 0 1 0

Brandon Webb, P
BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Last 7 Games .105 19 0 2 1 0 0 3 0
Season .158 38 3 6 1 0 0 7 0

PITCHERS

Greg Aquino, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 6.75 0 0 0 3 4 4 3 1 6 4
Season 4.82 1 0 0 18 18.2 19 10 2 9 13

Miguel Batista, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 4.95 2 1 0 3 20 24 11 5 6 9
Season 4.69 6 3 0 13 78.2 98 41 10 32 49

Juan Cruz, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 0.95 2 1 0 3 19 11 2 0 6 13
Season 4.05 3 3 0 14 46.2 34 21 3 24 41

Casey Daigle, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 5.07 0 0 0 3 5.1 7 3 1 2 3
Season 3.65 0 0 0 10 12.1 14 5 1 6 7

Enrique Gonzalez, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 1.69 2 0 0 3 16 7 3 1 3 16
Season 1.64 2 0 0 4 22 10 4 2 4 20

Jason Grimsley, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 20.30 0 1 0 3 1.1 6 3 1 1 0
Season 4.88 1 2 0 19 27.2 30 15 4 8 10

Orlando Hernandez, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Season 6.11 2 4 0 9 45.2 52 31 8 20 52

Kevin Jarvis, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 11.82 0 0 0 3 5.1 8 7 1 3 3
Season 9.95 0 0 0 4 6.1 9 7 1 3 3

Jorge Julio, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 0.00 0 0 1 3 3 1 0 0 0 4
Season 1.00 0 0 3 9 9 3 1 1 2 9

Brandon Lyon, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 15.00 0 1 0 3 3 7 5 1 0 3
Season 4.71 1 1 0 28 28.2 27 15 3 6 23

Brandon Medders, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 2.70 0 0 0 3 3.1 5 1 1 1 3
Season 2.63 1 1 0 21 24 31 7 1 10 17

Terry Mulholland, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 7.73 0 0 0 3 2.1 5 2 1 0 1
Season 9.00 0 0 0 5 3 7 3 1 1 1

Dustin Nippert, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 1 Games 10.80 0 1 0 1 5 7 6 2 4 3
Season 10.80 0 1 0 1 5 7 6 2 4 3

Russ Ortiz, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 10.80 0 3 0 3 10 15 12 1 14 13
Season 7.54 0 5 0 6 22.2 27 19 3 22 21

Jose Valverde, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 12.00 0 0 0 3 3 4 4 1 2 5
Season 6.20 2 3 14 25 24.2 27 17 5 14 33

Claudio Vargas, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 6.27 1 1 0 3 18.2 21 13 4 3 5
Season 5.34 6 3 0 12 60.2 70 36 10 18 37

Luis Vizcaino, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 3.00 0 0 0 3 3 1 1 1 0 4
Season 2.59 2 2 0 32 31.1 23 9 5 11 34

Brandon Webb, P
ERA W L Sv G IP H ER HR BB K
Last 3 Games 1.64 0 1 0 3 22 19 4 1 4 21
Season 2.06 8 1 0 14104.2 99 24 6 13 74



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