Canaries Add Bullpen Depth With Recent Signings

Posted: 3/24/2017


SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries announced on Friday afternoon that the organization has come to terms with relief pitchers Jose Ortega and Nicco Blank for the 2017 American Association Season.

Ortega, 28, returns for his first full season in a Canaries uniform after posting a 0.87 ERA in 11 relief appearances in 2016. The hard throwing right-hander began the season with the Joplin Blasters, where he went 3-2 with 4.13 ERA in 29 relief appearances. He joined the Birds in mid-August, and quickly established himself as one of the top arms in the back end of the bullpen, recording five saves and 11 strikeouts over 10 1/3 innings of work.

Ortega brings 10 years of professional baseball experience to the Canaries pitching staff, including 14 MLB appearances over parts of three seasons with the Detroit Tigers.. The Venezuelan born pitcher enters the 2017 season holding a career record of 26-31 to go along with his 3.98 ERA. He has recorded 507 career strikeouts and 20 saves over 579 1/3 innings of work.

Blank, 24, enters his first Independent baseball season with the Canaries in 2017 after spending parts of three seasons in the New York Mets organization. The Tucson, AZ native was originally drafted by the Mets in the 25th round of the 2014 MLB draft out of Central Arizona College. He made 57 appearances, including two starts in the Mets minor league system, where he went 0-5 with a 4.71 ERA over 86 innings of work.

The Sioux Falls Canaries enter their 25th season on May 18th against the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis & Clark Park. The home portion of the 2017 schedule opens up on Saturday, May 20th at the Birdcage. For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit