Comments are a rarity around here, and combative comments even rarer, so I thought it might be fun to rebut this one in a separate post:
Why are you hammering on Russ Ortiz? He's had ONE bad inning since the beginning of spring - two lights-out appearances in Pittsburgh, and one tough inning at Florida - it was Broxton who gave up the double. And it has been Sherrill who has sucked all spring, and now again tonight. Russ Ortiz has been GREAT this year, and a great find for the Dodgers. Why hacks like you, on blogs like this, can't do your homework - it's beyond me.
From 2001 to 2004, Russ Ortiz had a better than average ERA every year. His ERA+ numbers those years, according to baseballreference.com: 122, 107, 113, 105. Or if you prefer straight ERA: 3.29, 3.61, 3.81, 4.13. But there was a warning sign already in Ortiz's performance, for anyone willing to heed it, and I'm not just talking about the rising ERAs. His strikeout to walk ratio was 1.5 to 1 in 2003 and 1.3 to 1 in 2004. Those are not good ratios. Eventually they will catch up to you. Even in the offseason after 2004, if you really did your homework, you could tell that Russ Ortiz wasn't as good as he appeared. The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't heed the warnings. The Snakes signed him to a 4 year, 33 million contract, and the next phase of Russ Ortiz's career began.
In 2005 at age 31, Russ Ortiz posted a 6.89 ERA for the Snakes. In 2006 he was even worse, and the Snakes released him even though they owed him another 20 million or so. His ERA between the Snakes and the Orioles in 2007 was 8.14. In 2007, he returned to the Giants, the team of his youth, but he didn't find the fountain of youth. He posted an ERA of 5.51. Which was a huge improvement, and yet still awful! His 2007 season was actually cut short by Tommy John surgery, and he missed all of 2008 recovering, and then in spring training of 2009 he posted an ERA of 3.18. So --- maybe the surgery had fixed whatever was wrong with him? No. He ended 2009 with an ERA of 5.57 and the Astros released him. His spring training ERA in 2009 was irrelevant to his performance when it counted in 2009.
So why should his spring training performance this year matter? Why should a small sample of good performance in games that don't matter partially against non-major league players count more than four years of terrible results in games that do matter? His combined ERA in those four years is 6.56. His ERA+ is 68. He has walked a total of 173 and struck out 182. That is just awful. It is really unfathomable that a pitcher can be so awful over a period of four years ( with one year completely missed ) and yet still be in the big leagues. Russ Ortiz's last good season came when he was 30. He is 36 now. It is madness to think he can be a contributing pitcher this year.
I am asked why I am hammering Russ Ortiz. The problem isn't that I'm hammering Russ Ortiz. The problem is that batters have been hammering him since 2005 and there is no reason to think they won't continue in 2010.