You know, back in March, I’d considered the Phillies’ bullpen to be a likely strength for 2017. They’d added Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit, had a reliable-if-unspectacular arm in Jeanmar Gomez and the intrigue of further improvement from guys like Hector Neris, Joely Rodriguez and Edubray Ramos.
With many of the above having succumbed to the flesh-eating disease known as Phillie-itis already this year, the club announced Monday that Ramos would be the latest casualty, sent out to Triple-A to get his head right. Ricardo Pinto was recalled to take his place.
Ramos, 24, is still a potentially important piece of the Phillies’ next actually-good bullpen. He shows good snap on his breaking ball and has made a lot of hitters miss. He struck out 40 and walked 11 in 40 IP as a 23-year-old rookie last season. He averages 95 MPH on his fastball.
And yet, all of that just never really showed up at the same time so far in 2017, and Ramos was thusly optioned to try and fix what’s broken. He’ll be back, but he certainly has things to work on in the meantime.
In fact, Edubray's ERA is one of the highest a Phillies RP has ever posted in a single month (10+ apps.) pic.twitter.com/GIDzOXdks0— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) June 26, 2017
This June, Ramos was absolutely punished. He didn’t give up a home run - about the only positive to take away here - but lost feel for the zone and frequently grooved pitches. With Matt Klentak having shifted into his Take No Prisoners gear, Ramos’s fifth straight appearance surrendering a run (or runs!) prompted the GM to invoke the Demotion Option in order to save Ramos’s stuff and psyche. He may not return until September, but he will return, and we can only hope the trip up the PA Turnpike helped set him straight when he does.
Ramos’s season line at demotion time stands at 31 IP, 34 H, 19 ER (5.52 ERA), 38 K, 22 BB.
Pinto, in the meantime, returns to the Phillies after one inglorious outing last month. During this last stint with the IronPigs, Pinto made five appearances (one start), pitching 11 innings, allowing just four hits, no walks and no runs while striking out eight. The big club could certainly use a little bit of that, and now Pinto has another chance to be the guy to deliver it.