Things we said about Russ Ortiz:
-(On Ortiz' signing) You know who's crapping their pants right now? Brandon Backe.
-Obviously there's a lot of spring baseball to be played, but right now Ortiz has to have the edge. Backe sees the pooch, and is starting to think that the pooch looks attractive.
-It wasn't Jordan's Flu Game, but it may have been enough to seal Ortiz as SP5
-Probably not the regular-season debut we were expecting from SP5, but the Cubs were swinging at anything and everything, and connecting on most of that.
(Ken Rosenthal): The same executive says he was "totally shocked" by the improvement in right-hander Russ Ortiz, who looked the way he did in his best years with the Giants and Braves, giving every indication that he could be a quality No. 4 starter...
-Russ Ortiz had an effective, if inefficient, start to his season.
-You just get the feeling Ortiz is skating on thin ice... Right now, starting doesn't suit Ortiz. And relieving ain't so hot, either. If the Astros want to start the rebuilding project this season, that's fine with me.
-Russ Ortiz deserved better from his bullpen after throwing what is, for the 4th straight game, his best game of the season.
-June Employee of the Month
-This pass through a six-man rotation may only last a week, and only because it's turning into a contest of Who Sucks Worse?
-But this isn't going to end well for either Coop or Ortiz. Communication hasn't been Coop's strong point, as we've seen with Oswalt and Backe already this season. Is Ortiz getting jobbed? It seems like (and this is pretty standard common knowledge) starting pitchers crave routine, and Ortiz apparently wasn't getting that from his coaching staff.
-Something's gotta give, and I'm betting it's sooner than later. If Roy can make his next start at St. Louis, maybe we'll see Bud Norris pitching in the rotation, and one of Hampton/Ortiz out.
-Let's be clear, I feel bad about this. I wish it could have worked out for Ortiz.