Erasmo Ramirez Would Like To Come Back Now
Erasmo Ramirez just finished his third rehab assignment in Tacoma. It came in Las Vegas, a veritable hitter’s paradise. The park is so hitter friendly that the Rainiers have put up 11 runs and hit four homers in one inning. As a team, Vegas has an .825 OPS. You get the idea.
In that park, against that line-up, Erasmo Ramirez threw eight shutout innings, allowed just five hits, and struck out seven without walking anyone. This comes after his last start, which included seven shutout innings with five hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts, also against this same Las Vegas team. So, now, in four rehab starts (one at Double-A), Ramirez has allowed a grand total of four runs and has a 21/6 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. I think he might be okay.
My guess, though, is you’re probably not going to see Erasmo Ramirez in Seattle in the near future unless they decide to use him out of the bullpen, because Jeremy Bonderman has BABIP’d his way into two superficially decent starts. Throwing him out of the rotation after throwing eight shutout innings would look like poor form — and since Bonderman contemplated retiring after he didn’t make the club out of spring training, there’s a chance he might not take a bullpen assignment particularly well — even if it was against the Astros and Ramirez is the demonstrably better pitcher.
They could cut Aaron Harang instead, but again, he just threw a shutout against the Astros and has shown enough to not be on the chopping block. And they probably don’t want to dump Joe Saunders to make room for Ramirez when Bonderman could easily bomb out again or end up back on the DL, at which point they’d then be back to handing a job to Blake Beavan or Hector Noesi.
Ramirez is, when healthy, the clear pick for the Mariners #3 starter. Because of the timing of the Astros series, though, the organization probably won’t put him back in the rotation right now. He’s got nothing left to show at Tacoma, but the timing of Harang and Bonderman’s starts might just conspire to keep him there.
The next 10 games are against Oakland and Anaheim, though. Both teams can hit. I’d guess we’ll find out how long of a leash Bonderman’s start earned him. If he doesn’t show something in his next start, his replacement is ready.