Jorge Cortez Cañizales
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 190 lb.
Jorge Cortez (also listed as Jorge Cortes) has pitched in the minors and Taiwan and has represented Panama in several international events.
Cortez got a start in the 2001 Baseball World Cup against Team Canada, holding them to 4 hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings despite facing a lineup including major leaguers Kevin Nicholson, Ryan Radmanovich, Aaron Guiel, Rich Butler and Justin Morneau. He helped Panama to a Silver Medal in the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, Jorge went 1-1 with a 9.39 ERA. His biggest mistake of the tournament, though, was a positive test for banned substances; along with similarly erring teammates Roberto Kelly, Roberto Gutiérrez and Earl Agnoly, he cost Panama the Bronze Medal they would have had gotten otherwise. Cortez was banned from international competition for two years.
While Cortez was not allowed to play in international tourneys, he did not vanish from the baseball field. The Cincinnati Reds signed the tall right-hander. He appeared for four of their affiliates in 2003 - the GCL Reds (4 R, 0 ER in 7 IP, 0-1), Potomac Cannons (6.43 in 5 G), Chattanooga Lookouts (1-2, 5.84 in 9 G) and the Louisville RiverBats (one scoreless frame).
In 2005, Cortez came to Taiwan to pitch for the Sinon Bulls. He went 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA. He then joined Panama for the 2006 World Baseball Classic, appearing in a game against Cuba. He relieved Manny Acosta with a 6-4 deficit, one on and two outs in the 9th. Rene Reyes was caught stealing with Cortes on the hill, then Panama tied it in the bottom of the 9th against Yadier Pedroso and Yuniesky Maya. In the 10th, Cortez fanned Frederich Cepeda an Ariel Pestano, but Pestano reached on a passed ball by Carlos Ruiz. Joan Carlos Pedroso and Alexei Ramirez flew out to end the threat. In the 11th, Jorge got Leslie Anderson on a full count grounder after falling behind 3-0. Eduardo Paret ground out, then Cortes plunked Michel Enriquez. Yulieski Gourriel coaxed a walk. Yoandy Garlobo and Cepeda both hit RBI singles and Cortes was yanked in favor of Bienvenido Cedeno. Cortes took the loss.
Invited back to Taiwan for 2006, he was 5-4 with a 2.48 ERA. In the 2006 Americas qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics, he was 1-1 but had a 11.74 ERA in a team-high 5 games for Panama. He allowed 18 hits, including 4 home runs, in 7 2/3 innings.
In the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, he relieved Alberto Acosta with a 3-0 lead, two on and one out against Venezuela in the 6th inning. He allowed a single to Yonathan Sivira, walked Manuel Ramirez and hit Michael Sandoval to make it 3-2. Miguel Gomez replaced him and surrendered a grand slam to Jaen Centeno as Cortez was charged with the loss. It was his lone appearance of the tourney.
Cortez was on Panama's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The veteran did not make an appearance in the Classic. He helped Panama win Gold in the 2009 Bolivarian Games. He had a 5.06 ERA in the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament, giving up two runs in the 9th to lose a 6-5 lead over Puerto Rico and take the defeat.