With Big Z on the DL, Ramon Ortiz will make his first big league appearance since last May. He'll face Ross Detwiler, who is also making his first start of 2011 (a quick note on his stuff is at the bottom of this post).
Ortiz's 30 innings as a Dodger in 2010 were his first in the show since 2007. He spent 2008 in Japan pitching for Orix, returned to the States as a Fresno Giant in 2009, and bounced around AAA for the Mets and Rays after parting ways with the Dodgers in 2010. The Cubs will be his seventh major league team--not including the three clubs that never called him up.
Ortiz, to me, looks like a reliever. Sinker/slider without a ton of velocity. He doesn't walk many guys but has been more adept and getting ground balls outside of the majors. He's just average through his 2007 and 2010 stints, but solidly above average when pitching abroad or in AAA.
Look for a guy who will throw a lot of strikes, fool some guys with the off-speed stuff (on occasion), but generally gets hit harder than desired--more liners than grounders when things are not going his way.
From left to right, this next table shows league relative value for a few ratio stats. From left-to-right: strike outs per plate appearance (batter faced), walks+hit batters per PA, strike outs per walk+hit batter, and ground balls, line drives, fly balls and pop ups per ball in play, ending with home runs per fly ball+line drive.
The numbers are rolled-up by season (2008 does NOT include Japan) and give a fairly decent picture of how Ortiz has performed across winter ball, minor leagues and major leagues.
He's done well for Iowa this year.
Putting aside most of the data, the rest is major league and PITCHf/x-based.
"+" style with 100=average, 10 pts.=10% of league average
Scouting style with 50 as avearge, 10 pts.=1 standard deviation
In the limited big league sample, Ortiz has more pop-ups but gave up home runs. Strike throwing declined and he was really just average. Hopefully for the Cubs his AAA success will carry over, but I don't get a real warm-and-fuzzy feeling about this.
Detwiler is a tall and lanky lefty from St. Louis. He throws four pitches and will be making his 20th big league start.