Oliver Ortega signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, beginning his long road through their Minor League system. After nearly six years he made his Major League debut with the club last year, but in 2022 he saw his most significant chunk of playing time.
Beginning his career in the Dominican Summer League at the age of 18, Ortega hit the ground running within the Angels ranks, displaying both his flaws and allowing everyone to see his potential.
With a few gaps of time in his development in 2017 and the 2020 season when many players sat out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ortega reached Triple-A in 2021, posting a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings with the Salt Lake Bees. He received the call to MLB in September, getting an opportunity to log 9.1 big league innings to finish out the year.
But the Angels carried Ortega on their MLB roster out of Spring Training to start the 2022 regular season. Aside from allowing two earned runs in his first outing of the year on April 8, he was stellar in 15.2 innings to begin the year.
Through May 6, Ortega held a 1.15 ERA across ten games, and although he didn’t feature gaudy strikeout numbers, he was getting the job done in the Angels bullpen. Unfortunately, his next 18.1 MLB innings weren’t pretty as he allowed 12 earned runs, including four homers and 12 walks.
He was optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 6, and wouldn’t appear in a game in MLB for the remainder of the season. The Angels designated Ortega for assignment on Dec. 22, making him a free agent for the first time in his big league career.
Oliver Ortega 2022 highlight
From April 10-May 6, Ortega was phenomenal. He posted nine consecutive appearances without allowing a run, which instantly became the best stretch of his professional career.
On Jan. 6, the Minnesota Twins claimed Ortega off waivers from the Angels, and after another DFA a few weeks later, he cleared waivers, eventually being outrighted to Triple-A St. Paul.
Ortega will receive an invitation to Spring Training for the upcoming season with a shot to make the Twins bullpen.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!