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Ortiz Again Asks Angels to Trade Him

June 28, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

On Sunday, after a meeting in which Angel Manager Mike Scioscia told Ramon Ortiz that he would return to the bullpen, Ortiz again asked the Angels to trade him.

"I don't know what I have to do to be a starting pitcher again," Ortiz said. "I guess I have to throw nine innings, nine zeroes, every game."

In two starts replacing injured Aaron Sele, Ortiz gave up one run in 11 1/3 innings. The Angels activated Sele from the disabled list Saturday, bumping Ortiz back to the bullpen.

Ortiz opened the season in the starting rotation and Sele in the bullpen, but the Angels flipped their roles after Ortiz posted a 9.28 earned-run average in his first five starts. Ortiz has pitched well since then, starting and relieving, and his current 4.39 ERA is lower than that of starters John Lackey, Jarrod Washburn and Bartolo Colon.

"I don't want to say anything bad about anybody, but everybody knows I'm a starting pitcher," said Ortiz, a 16-game winner last season.

In a meeting with Scioscia and General Manager Bill Stoneman earlier this month, Ortiz first asked for a trade.

"I told them before, and they didn't do anything," Ortiz said. "I don't know what's going to happen."

Stoneman said he had discussed Ortiz with other general managers -- the Baltimore Orioles are believed to have offered left-handed reliever Buddy Groom and the Chicago White Sox infielder Jose Valentin -- but said he would not trade Ortiz simply to accommodate him. His ERA in relief is 1.59.

"As I said to him, 'Ramon, we're not just going to deal you. We think you have value to us,' " Stoneman said. "The only way we would do a deal is if it helped our club. This is a guy who can help our club, whether it's in the bullpen or whether it's starting."

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