Minnesota Twins Add Righty Reliever Ramirez
The Minnesota Twins made a move on Sunday to try and help their bullpen when they claimed right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
The move to bring in Ramirez corresponds with Phil Hughes’ recent transfer to the 60-Day Disabled List after he fractured his left kneecap when Miami Marlins J.T. Realmuto hit a line drive back to Hughes.
Hughes had been working out of the bullpen at the time after struggling as a starter and had put together a rough season of work with a 5.95 ERA and 1-7 record.
Ramirez brings with him a career ERA of 2.42 but through 10 games this season got roughed up and put together a 5.79 ERA.
The Minnesota Twins will be Ramirez’ third team since his 2014 debut. His best season was his debut when he went 3-3 with a 1.44 ERA in 43 2/3 innings with the Chicago Cubs.
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After appearing in 50 games in 2014, he pitched in just 19 games in 2015, having moderate success with a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings while striking out 15.
The Cubs waived Ramirez this season and he was then picked up by the Brewers. After just two appearances and an ERA of 10.80, the Brewers waived him and he landed with the Twins.
Due to the pickup of Ramirez, the Minnesota Twins will need to make a move to get him on the 25-man roster and have yet to announce what that will be as of Sunday.
Chances are we will probably not hear anything until later on Sunday.
Ramirez does have a fastball that has reached mid-90’s and will join other mid-90’s fastballers such as Kevin Jepsen, Fernando Abad, Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin.
His career-high in strikeouts was 53 in 2014 and this year had 13 strikeouts 9 1/3 innings of work. Those are nice numbers to see, however, he did struggle with his control walking eight batters and allowing six runs.
The high amount of walks played a large part in his career-worse 1.61 WHIP.
General Manager Terry Ryan said the team likes him and seems to believe he can help the team. It is highly unlikely he will be a season-changing transaction but with the bullpen struggling so mightily, it’s probably worth the flyer on the righty.
Who knows maybe Ramirez will be able to take some pressure off Jepsen. The biggest issue I see though is that Ramirez’ release from both the Cubs and Brewers were due to the same issues the Minnesota Twins are having with Jepsen.
Jepsen has lacked control of his breaking pitch all season long and that has gotten him into trouble.
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So while it’s nice to see a move made to try and improve, it seems more like a desperation move than anything for the Minnesota Twins. Only time will tell.