What to Make of Neil Ramirez?

As the San Francisco Giants’ dreadful April 2017 has drawn to a close, one of the moves they made was sending down right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez.  With a 13.06 ERA after nine appearances, this was a move one could see coming miles away.

Ramirez was a guy who I thought was a great bargain basement pickup this off-season.  He was extremely effective for the Cubs in 2014 and 2015, when he had a 2.51 run average in 69 appearances (57.1 IP) with well more strikeouts than innings pitched.

Ramirez pitched his way back to the minors with several teams in 2016, but finished the year strong at AAA Rochester, where he again flashed his typically dominating strikeout rates.

This year, his MLB numbers are weird.  He struck out 18 batters while walking only four in 10.1 innings pitched, but he also allowed sixteen hits including two dingers and allowed 15 runs, all earned.  That gave Ramirez an astounding .519 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) — 14 for 27.

Clearly, Ramirez pitched better than his 13.06 ERA suggests, but that still isn’t saying much.  Without having watched any of Ramirez’s appearances this year, I would guess that he still has command issues.  When he can get ahead of the hitter and get to two strikes, he’s one or more tremendous strikeout pitches which hitters feel they have to swing at, but when he falls behind on hitters, he comes in over the plate, and they pound him.  That’s my guess anyway.

Ramirez seems to be that close to being an effective major league reliever, as his stuff is clearly well better than major league average.  While his command needs work, he’s no Erik Cordier, a pitcher with a 100 mph fastball who will likely never have major league command.

I could see Ramirez pitching well at AAA Sacramento and earning another shot with the 2017 Giants.  If he doesn’t, he’ll be 29 next year and should seriously consider going to Japan, where his talent level would give him a good chance of great success.

Explore posts in the same categories: Baseball Abroad, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants

One Comment on “What to Make of Neil Ramirez?”

  1. Burly Says:

    It was reported today that the Blue Jays claimed Neil Ramirez off of waivers, so he’ll get a shot in Toronto to turn things around before he goes back to the minors.

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