The Orioles added another young arm to their major league roster Tuesday, promoting right-hander Luis Ortiz from Triple-A Norfolk.
Ortiz, a 2014 first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers, was acquired at the nonwaiver trade deadline at the end of July from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Schoop trade.
He is the second starting pitcher acquired during the Orioles’ flurry of trades to receive his first big league call-up. Left-hander Josh Rogers, who was a part of the Zach Britton deal with the New York Yankees, has made two starts.
With Ortiz’s first appearance with the Orioles, he will become the team’s 13th player to make his major league debut this season, the most since 1955 — the club’s second year in Baltimore — when 14 players made their first big league appearance. He would also become the 54th player and club-record 29th pitcher to play for the Orioles this season. The 54 players tie the club record set in 1955.
Ortiz, 22, said he didn’t expect to receive a September call-up.
“I was not anticipating anything,” he said. “I was just going about my business and everything fell in place. Just was thinking about going home. It was a long season. I did what I had to do this year and then this happens. So it’s a blessing. … [It’s] like everyone’s reaction. You can’t even speak to it. It’s unreal.”
Ortiz started six games for the Tides, going 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA in his first Triple-A stint. Before the trade, he went 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) for Double-A Biloxi. As is the case with other pitchers, the Orioles will monitor Ortiz’s usage. He has pitched 99 2/3 innings this season, his most as a pro, though this is the third straight season he’s pitched at least 90 innings.
“I’ve have plenty of innings [left],” Ortiz said. “I barely got to my max 100 innings this year, and I feel really good about this year and feeling healthy.”
Showalter said that Ortiz will likely start out as a bullpen option but could get a start or two before the season ends.
“We’ve got our arms around his inning count,” Showalter said. “I’m going to let him be in the dugout for a day or two. He threw, he had a work day, he’s not ready to pitch out of the bullpen yet, but we’ll get him out there.”
The Rangers selected Ortiz with the 30th overall pick in 2014 out of high school in California. He was traded to the Brewers at the 2016 nonwaiver deadline along with outfielder Lewis Brinson in a deal that sent catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Texas.
“That whole [situation] helped me,” said of being traded from Texas to Milwaukee. “Being that young and getting traded, I never knew that was going to happen. Getting traded again, I kind of knew what I had to do. Another team wanted me more, so I went to Triple-A and did what I had to do.”
Orioles getting long looks at shortstop
Shortstop Tim Beckham sat for the second time in the last three games so the Orioles could continue to see Jonathan Villar at the position while also getting a look at infielder Breyvic Valera at second base, Showalter said.
“I’m going to get different looks,” Showalter said. “I told them about a week ago, we’re going to move people around and take a look at different combinations and make sure that everybody gets in the flow. We’ve seen Tim a lot and we know what he’s capable of doing, and we don’t know about the rest of him. He’ll continue to play and we’ll get looks at everybody.”
Beckham also sat in Sunday’s series finale in Kansas City.
“I’d like to see Valera at shortstop, too,” Showalter said. “If you want to get a look at guy at the utility spot, you have to see him play the position because these looks are going to be gone at some point.”
Mullins sits against lefty starter
Cedric Mullins was also out of the starting lineup on Tuesday against Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc, and Showalter said it had more to do with continuing to get Joey Rickard, who started in center, and John Andreoli, who was in left, playing time and less to do with any nagging problem with Mullins’ hip.
“He’s good,” Showalter said. “Just want to get Andreoli out there and Joey. I’m not saying he’ll be 100 percent, but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It just fit better with what we needed to look at today.”
The switch-hitting Mullins is just 3-for-17 with nine strikeouts against lefties.