Horacio Ramirez, a not at all fond retrospective of his time in a Mariner uniform
“The bad deal” December 6th
The Mariners have traded a good 27-year-old pitcher for a mediocre 27-year-old pitcher.
Forget everything else youâ€™re going to hear for a minute. Forget the starter vs reliever designations, years of service, groundball rates, all of it. The Mâ€™s traded a pitcher who will be 27 in two weeks for a pitcher who turned 27 two weeks ago in a straight up, one for one deal. Itâ€™s a challenge trade, essentially. The Mâ€™s chose left-handedness and a designation as a starting pitcher over talent and performance. They swapped a good pitcher for a mediocre one, and none of the issues about rotation vs bullpen can wipe that away.
This is a bad deal. Weâ€™re obviously against this in every way, shape, and form. Horacio Ramirez is not the kind of guy you trade arms like Rafael Sorianoâ€™s for. Horacio Ramirez is the kind of arm you pick up as a throw-in to a deal or that you sign for a cheap, one year contract as a free agent. Like they were going to do with John Thomson. Heâ€™s John Thomsonâ€™s left-handed twin.
March 2nd, this gem in the PI Notebook:
Ramirez wasnâ€™t crazy about his control, but only one pitch really bothered him, a 3-2 curve that former Mariner Mike Cameron hit for a single with one out and a man on base. Even so, Ramirez said he called for that pitch himself, shaking Johjima off several times.
â€œIâ€™d rather throw the wrong pitch, but a pitch I throw with conviction,â€ Ramirez said. â€œThat makes it right.â€
Dave, in the 4/27 game thread:
Jorge De la Rosa was famously once described by Dan Duquette as â€œthe Mexican John Rockerâ€. Heâ€™s been pretty horrible in the majors up until this year, but at age 25, heâ€™s finally showing why his arm used to get scouts pretty excited. He tossed 8 scoreless innings in his last start while throwing strikes and missing bats. He looks like he may be in the beginning stages of a true breakout season.
The Royals acquired him last July in a one for one trade for Tony Graffanino.
Meanwhile, Horacio Ramirez was once described by me as â€œa pretty crappy pitcherâ€. Scouts have never liked his arm. He tossed 4 horrible innings in his last start, not throwing any strikes and missing no bats at all. He looks like a AAAA starter who is in the beginning stages of pitching himself into a middle relief role.
The Mariners acquired him last December in a one for one trade for Rafael Soriano.
May 15th, at the 20% mark:
Horacio Ramirez, #4 Starter – Grade: F
Heâ€™s been a disaster. Heâ€™s struck out zero or one guy in four of his six starts, and like Batista, his success is basically tied to how well the other team does at getting the balls in play to fall in. Consistency is impossible with this kind of pitcher. Much is made about Ramirezâ€™s Home/Road splits, but no one mentions the competition heâ€™s faced in those appearanecs. He got whacked around by the Angels, Red Sox, and Tigers on the road, and shut down the Rangers, Royals, and Yankees at home. The huge splits between Safeco and non-Safeco games will shrink dramatically as the year goes on.
I liked this July 17th note:
Horacio Ramirez threw the Jarrod Washburn Special, putting the ball over the plate against a lousy team in Safeco Field and watching them get themselves out. He did exactly what he should have done – realized he was facing a line-up of talentless hacks and gave them the opportunity to put the bat on the ball, knowing they arenâ€™t good enough to do anything with it. Against this kind of team, itâ€™s the right gameplan. But, as Iâ€™m sure regular readers know by now, this is also not any kind of recipe for continued success. If he pitches the same way in Toronto next Sunday, heâ€™s going to get torched. Iâ€™m encouraged that we won a game where we started one of the worst pitchers in baseball – Iâ€™m not at all encouraged that this was any kind of indicator of Horacio Ramirezâ€™s future performance level.
He didn’t pitch again until the 23rd, in Texas, where he got torched.
September 17th, when he was yanked from the rotation, we offered a retrospective
But for all the things that have gone wrong (and right) this year, itâ€™s clear that the teamâ€™s inexplicable faith that Ramirez would be a solid rotation member, their continued belief that he would at any moment become the pitcher they thought they were acquiring, and their failure to have a decent backup plan to go to was one of the greatest reasons the team couldnâ€™t turn a surprisingly successful season into a playoff berth.
And a historical perspective on how amazingly awful Horacio had been.
Thereâ€™s been no good reason to believe that Horacio Ramirez was, was becoming, or could be a major league starter, and the teamâ€™s inability to recognize that he didnâ€™t belong in a major league rotation was so huge as to produce historic, embarrassing results.
And then, later, Dave offered this fact you may not have known:
Did you know that the Mariners have seven pitchers on the roster with an ERA of 10.00 or higher in September? Jeff Weaver, Horacio Ramirez, Eric Oâ€™Flaherty, Brandon Morrow, Sean Green, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and John Parrish have formed their own arson squad.
We commented when the M’s decided to get rid of Broussard and retain Horacio:
On the other hand, the Mâ€™s decided to keep Horacio Ramirez, apparently believing their own lies that he was just confused and poorly coached last year. You have to wonder what it will take for this organization to realize how to evaluate pitching talent correctly – Horacio Ramirez is a Triple-A arm, and that should be pretty obvious to anyone who watches baseball with even a casual eye. This was obvious last year when the Mâ€™s traded for him, and his horrendous year in Seattle didnâ€™t make him any more valuable. That theyâ€™re willing to give a replacement level pitcher millions of dollars to try to resurrect some potential heâ€™s never had is just a continuing sign that the Mariners donâ€™t have any better of an idea of what makes a good pitcher now than they did twelve months ago.
And on January 18th, when they signed him to the contract they just voided…
Pick your reason why itâ€™s a bad deal:
– Taking a historically bad pitcher to arbitration after seeing him suck all year.
– The deal itself
– The fact that theyâ€™re in this situation at all after bringing HoRam in believing he was potentially a top-of-the-rotation guy despite there being no reason to think that was true