Horacio Ramirez, a historical perspective

DMZ · September 17, 2007 at 2:16 am · Filed Under Mariners 

You may have thought to yourself “it must be hard, to be so bad for so long to compile a 7+ ERA and still get over 100 IP. I mean, either you’re bad enough at that point you’re chased from the game early no matter how many starts, or the team’s going to find someone better than you to stick in the rotation even if it’s, say, a parasite-infested mascot.” You’d be right!

There have been only 27 pitcher-seasons in baseball history who have, like Ramirez almost managed, pitched 100 innings with an ERA of over 7. One of them’s a Mariner! The last was Colby Lewis, Texas, 2003 – 7.30 in 127 IP (I think… it’s really late and I’m not sure if I’m using the right database, but I’ll fix this tomorrow if there are additions)

2000 and 2001 both brought three, and Texas boasts half of them.
Rob Bell, Texas, 2001, in his stint in Texas, post-trade: 7.18 in 105 IP
Andy Benes, St. Louis, 2001, 7.38, 107 IP
Scott Elarton, Houston, 2001, 7.14, 109 IP
Jason Johnson, Baltimore, 2000, 7.02, 107.6 IP
Darren Oliver, Texas, 2000, 7.42, 108 IP
Matt Perisho, Texas, 2000, 7.37, 105 ERA

Jeff Fassero’s 1999 is next, and then Doug (“Don’t read my horrible books”) Drabek’s 1998 round out the decade in debaclery.

HoRam among those guys: 2nd-best walk rate, by far the worst strikeout rate, and the best home run rate (though in fairness, Safeco… right). And there lies the really strange thing: you can come up with plausible reasons each of those other guys was in the rotation, and why the team kept running them out there, but you can directly see that as a group, the other worst pitcher-seasons in the sample all contained substantially greater reason for hope than Ramirez did. The average other-guy strikeout rate was 5.87, which is not far off the league average. These guys, even while getting rocked for home runs (Andy Benes in 2001, 2.5 HR/9 IP) and struggling with walks (Matt Perisho was at 5.7 BB/9 IP) were getting batters to swing and miss. Only three of them (Bell, Drabek, Oliver) weren’t getting six K/9 IP.

There’s been no good reason to believe that Horacio Ramirez was, was becoming, or could be a major league starter, and the team’s inability to recognize that he didn’t belong in a major league rotation was so huge as to produce historic, embarrassing results.


27 Responses to “Horacio Ramirez, a historical perspective”

  1. tyruschen on September 17th, 2007 4:22 am

    HoRam + Weaver = 224.1 IP, 6.70 ERA

    HoRam + Weaver + Batista = 397.2 IP, 5.82 ERA

    HoRam + Weaver + Batista /away = 201.2 IP, 6.29 ERA

    FIP of Three Musketeers:

    Horam: 5.46
    Weaver: 4.93
    Batista: 4.61

    Hope Bavasi won’t “improve” this team’s starting pitching like this again in a couple of months.

  2. tyruschen on September 17th, 2007 4:31 am

    BTW, career FIP of the threesome:

    Horam: 5.15
    Weaver: 4.52
    Batista: 4.59

    Just a little better than this year, but not much. If a team really think they can depend on them to anchor their 3-5 rotation and to be a contender, better think again. (though it sounds like hindsight now…)

  3. hub on September 17th, 2007 6:18 am

    I miss Soriano.

  4. Tak on September 17th, 2007 6:24 am

    This off-season isn’t looking any better than last years. Pretty much the same situation (complete lack of Starting pitching with nothing much available in the open market), with pretty much the same people in charge. Really looking forward to reading “Dave’s 2007 offseason plan”.

  5. JMHawkins on September 17th, 2007 8:00 am

    re: Batista’s FIP. his FIP is (according to THT) 4.74, but his xFIP is 5.13. xFIP attempts to normalize HR/F% (e.g. factors in Safeco), so it’s actually a bit worse.

    Anyway, I’m still baffled about something. Starting Pitching is a commodity in very short supply. Left-handed SP even more so. You see the salaries given to FA starters, the struggles teams have finding a #5, etc. Right-handed relief pitchers, even pretty good ones, are far less valuable than a ML starter. That’s the economics of the game. The Braves are not known to be idiots when evaluating pitching talent. If they were willing to part with a Left-handed starter making a modest (for SPs anyway) salary in exchange for a RH reliever, shouldn’t that have set off warning klaxons for Bavasi?

  6. Bremerton guy on September 17th, 2007 8:02 am

    The stats I see this morning say Ramirez only has 98 IP. Close to 100, but no cigar, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to reach the century mark this year.

  7. HamNasty on September 17th, 2007 8:13 am

    6- I bet he reaches 100IP. He is the next veteran lefty out of the bullpen. Following the great sucktitudes of Parrish and White. If all that fails we have a double header next Wednesday.

  8. Bremerton guy on September 17th, 2007 8:15 am

    #7- Sadly, you’re probably right. Maybe Steve Trout’s looking for work?

  9. Mike Snow on September 17th, 2007 8:25 am

    My impression is that the team thought the rest-and-recovery approach they took with Weaver could work for Ramirez too. And it did seem to work for Weaver somewhat, although not with staying power. But considering that having somebody “rehab” without actually identifying any injury is a rather unusual tack, almost counterintuitive, there’s little basis for believing in it. I wish the Mariners understood that just because they got lucky once – lucky to get what they did from Weaver – they had no reason to think they could get lucky the same way with Ramirez.

  10. terry on September 17th, 2007 8:52 am

    There’s been no good reason to believe that Horacio Ramirez was, was becoming, or could be a major league starter, and the team’s inability to recognize that he didn’t belong in a major league rotation was so huge as to produce historic, embarrassing results.

    I wish that statement was an attempt at hyperbole.

  11. Otto on September 17th, 2007 9:40 am


    Was talking to a Braves fan complaining about the trade. He stated it was a slightly unfair trade HoRam has great potential. Made me about wet myself.

  12. Colm on September 17th, 2007 9:51 am

    you should have socked him

  13. Otto on September 17th, 2007 10:07 am

    #12 Can’t punch him through MSN messenger unfortunatley.

  14. bat guano on September 17th, 2007 11:12 am

    There is only one explanation for the fact that the M’s kept running HoRam out there—an unwillingness to admit to themselves that they completed misjudged his ability when they traded a litgimate major league arm for him. Face it guys in the FO, you were wrong. Let’s learn from the mistake and move on without making similar mistakes—like retaining an incompetent manager—this off season.

  15. jlc on September 17th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Hopefully the focus on how bad the starting pitching has been will prevent the team from saying, “we just had a little bad luck” this season. Maybe it will actually move Bavasi out of his chair.

  16. kenshabby on September 17th, 2007 1:19 pm

    Part of the M’s organization – most notably McLaren – has been suffering from ARS (Alternate Reality Syndrome) this year. This is an affliction typically endemic to small children and schizophrenics, though well-adjusted adults may suffer from it as well. Though I sometimes question how “well-adjusted” McLaren is.

  17. scott19 on September 17th, 2007 1:45 pm

    Interestingly, none of those mentioned were members of the Colorado Rockies at the time (though Elarton later was).

    I also thought that the immortal Mike “1-and-16” Parrott might be on that list, but strangely enough he managed to stink up the Kingdome to that degree in the summer of 1980 in UNDER 100 innings.

  18. scott19 on September 17th, 2007 1:49 pm

    1: I wouldn’t necessarily hold my breath for that to happen…after all, this is the guy who once thought (while in Anaheim) that “upgrading” his starting pitching meant acquiring Pat Rapp and Izzy Valdes.

  19. gwangung on September 17th, 2007 2:50 pm

    1: I wouldn’t necessarily hold my breath for that to happen…after all, this is the guy who once thought (while in Anaheim) that “upgrading” his starting pitching meant acquiring Pat Rapp and Izzy Valdes.

    Folks have GOT to remember he’s getting plenty of help in his suckitude.

    Many of this same help is gonna be there if Bavasi gets replaced….

  20. Oly Rainiers Fan on September 17th, 2007 4:39 pm

    It’s not just McLaren that was suffering from Alternate Reality Syndrome. It’s pretty much all the fans who spent a couple months deluding themselves that this team as constructed was playoff-bound.

  21. scott19 on September 17th, 2007 5:23 pm

    20: You’re right about that…I guess we all (or a lot of us, anyway) looked back at the half-assedly mediocre season that the Cards played for most of last year and thought that maybe these guys, too, might somehow catch “lightning in a bottle.” 😐

  22. jdsiii on September 17th, 2007 7:54 pm

    So how long before Padilla becomes a candidate to fill a rotation spot next year when/if Ramirez is gone now that he’s worn out his welcome in Texas? Can he really be worse?

  23. sad_loyal_fan on September 17th, 2007 8:06 pm

    Sorry you’re feeling lonely DMZ, but thinking about how the front office evaluates pitchers depresses me.

  24. davepaisley on September 17th, 2007 8:37 pm

    Next time, Derek, you’ll just have to write a 5,000 word post about how Geoff Baker’s opinion of HoRam is all wrong :O


  25. Mat on September 17th, 2007 9:39 pm

    It looks to me that only Fassero, Oliver, and Drabek on that list got more starts than Ramirez.

  26. pumpkinhead on September 18th, 2007 10:27 am

    So, lets see.

    Previously Garbage + Currently Garbage = Worth a spot in the rotation? I don’t get the math either.

    Maybe they were under the assumption that, ‘well, he can only get better, right?’

  27. pumpkinhead on September 18th, 2007 10:51 am

    In fact, that reminds me of a song…

    “Nothing from Nothing means Nothing.” Even the song gets it right.

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