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Cards claim OF Ortega off waivers from Texas

Cards claim OF Ortega off waivers from Texas

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added to their 40-man roster on Monday by claiming 22-year-old outfielder Rafael Ortega off waivers. Ortega was placed on waivers by the Rangers on Dec. 30 after he was designated for assignment.

The left-handed-hitting outfielder played for the Rockies' Double-A Tulsa club in 2013, batting .228 with 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 42 games. His season was shortened by a leg injury that he suffered in June. He is a career .298 hitter over 462 Minor League games in Colorado's system. He played primarily as a center fielder.

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Ortega also made the unusual jump (albeit briefly) from Class A to the Majors in 2012, when the Rockies called him up at the end of the season. Ortega started one game and appeared in another as a pinch-hitter.

Ortega, a Venezuelan native, has bounced around this offseason. The Rangers claimed him off waivers from the Rockies in late November before Texas later decided to remove Ortega from its roster. With Monday's roster move, the Cardinals add to their Minor League outfield depth, pushing their 40-man roster to 39 players.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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