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Dodgers' desperate Ortiz Experiment mercifully comes to a close

May 27, 2010 | 12:56 pm
And so ends the grand Ortiz Experiment. Say thanks for small favors.

Unless, of course, Ramon Ortiz decides to accept the Dodgers’ offer for a minor league assignment.

For the moment, however, he can do as he pleases and opt out of his contract after he was designated for assignment Thursday. Much as the other half of this experiment, Russ Ortiz, elected to do when designated April 18. Finding no interested takers, he then announced his retirement.

You can’t blame the Dodgers for signing these pair of retreads to non-roster invitee contracts and giving them a look. What did they have to lose?

But you can rip them for otherwise failing to sign any significant arms, their staff so depleted that both Ortizes actually made the opening-day roster.

Part of that can be attributed to Ronald Belisario’s protracted visa problem and Hong-Chih Kuo starting the season on the disabled list (which hardly should have come as a surprise).

Still, that they had no one better to fill in was telling.

Russ went 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in six appearances. Ramon actually appeared in 16 games, including a pair of disastrous starts, going 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA.

It was just the other day, of course, that Joe Torre was telling us that Ramon would be backing up Carlos Monasterios in his start on Friday. So much for that plan.

This could be the first several moves in the coming week.

Andre Ethier is way ahead of schedule in bouncing back from his broken pinky. He is scheduled to make a pair of rehab appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque Friday and Saturday in Memphis. Ethier could return as early as Monday when the Dodgers open a 13-game homestand.

And prior to Thursday’s game, Manager Joe Torre said -- children may want to stop reading here -- knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was close to returning.

-- Steve Dilbeck