SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles announced today the passing of Luis Andrés Ortiz Soriano, a 20-year-old minor league player from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
A team statement read: "Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of minor league pitcher Luis Andrés Ortiz Soriano. Luis was an inspiration to all who knew him, especially as he courageously battled cancer. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."
The young man did not have any stats for the 2022 season. In 2021 in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League he went 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.
Manager Brandon Hyde passed along his thoughts to start his pregame press update.
"Want to pass on condolences to the Luis Ortiz family. Sad news last night. From all of us here - our major league staff and players - we want to give our condolences to the Ortiz family," he said.
No easy transition here, but there were some happy faces earlier today after players and coaches watched the World Baseball Classic last night.
It was quiet in one corner of the O’s clubhouse this morning. Outfielder Austin Hays was dressing at his locker, which sits between two players who have left the team temporarily for in the WBC. Anthony Santander has the locker on Hays’ right and Cedric Mullins is normally on his left.
O’s players, including Hays, were watching last night when Santander helped lead Venezuela to a 5-1 win over the favored Dominican Republic in the first game for both clubs in Pool D.
Santander, who mashed 33 homers last season for the Orioles, hit a second-deck homer to right in the second inning to tie the game 1-1. In the eighth, with the Dominican squad looking to rally with two on, Santander charged in from right field to make a diving catch and thwart the threat. He added a triple as part of a 2-for-4 night.
Hays said he is proud of both his outfield mates for playing in the WBC.
“It’s awesome. I was fired up last night when I saw Tony hit his homer," he said. "I was jumping up and down yelling. You could just see how electric it is on TV. Got to be an exciting time for him, and one of the most fun games he’s ever played in last night."
Hays was not surprised Santander came through in the clutch in such a big game.
“No, it doesn’t surprise me. Seen him do that a lot," he said. "He did it 33 times last year. That is not surprising at all to see him step up in a big moment. Really fun to watch these games, so much riding on every at-bat, every pitch. It is very much like a playoff game.”
Added Hyde: "How awesome was that. To do that on that stage, I texted him after the game. So proud of him, so happy for him."
O’s minor league pitcher Ryan Long pitched in the WBC last night for Great Britain against the loaded Team USA lineup. It was quite a moment for a pitcher who has not advanced yet past Single-A Delmarva.
He was the Orioles’ 17th-round pick in the 2021 draft. He gave up a three-run homer to Kyle Schwarber, allowing two inherited runners to score. But he also struck out Mike Trout in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Team USA won 6-2 and plays Mexico tonight. Mullins did not get into last night’s game, where the losing pitcher for Great Britain was former Oriole Vance Worley. Dean Kremer is pitching today for Team Israel.
O's lineup today vs. Boston
Adam Frazier 2B
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Kyle Stowers LF
Ramón Urías 3B
Austin Hays CF
Nomar Mazara RF
Jorge Mateo SS
Ryan McKenna DH
Grayson Rodriguez P
Other O's notes from Hyde:
* O's lefty Nick Vespi will make his spring debut tomorrow.
* Ryan O'Hearn has a sore knee and is day-to-day right now. He tweaked it in yesterday's game.
* Lefty DL Hall threw live batting practice yesterday and will do so again Tuesday. After that he could get into his first spring game. Hyde said it went "extremely well" yesterday for Hall.
* Hyde said he is close to naming his Opening Day starter, and it could happen after the off-day Wednesday.
* Hyde will manage the O's road team tomorrow in North Port as the Birds split their squad for a home game with Detroit and the road game with Atlanta. Bench coach Fredi Gonzalez will manage for the home game.
A tweet from the club on the passing of Luis Andrés Ortiz Soriano.