The plan was for A.J. Ramos to battle Carter Capps for the right to close games in South Beach, but after Capps required Tommy John surgery, Ramos took advantage, setting a new career best with 40 saves. Ramos continued his dominant ways, fanning bats at a double-digit rate per nine for the third straight season. However, he gave back some of the control gains he made the previous season, along with being victimized with a high hit rate. The result was a rather high 1.36 WHIP, the worst of his career. Ramos' saving grace was allowing only one homer in 64 innings, a repeat of the feat he also accomplished in 2014. Funny things can happen to relievers in small samples, but an increase in walks is worrisome. Ramos will open the campaign where he ended the last one, as closer. The sketchy control keeps him from the elite tier despite the requisite whiffs. Don't wait too long, however, as someone will see the saves and strikeouts and pounce.
Ramos gave up a hit and struck out one in a shutout inning of relief during Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros. The Marlins' closer hasn't had a particularly clean spring, showing a 9.00 ERA and 1.75 WHIP through four innings, but the damage came early in camp. Assuming Ramos puts together a few more good outings over the next 10 days heading into Opening Day, there's no reason to be concerned about any early March struggles.
Ramos (leg) gave up two home runs in his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. Ramos had been hindered with a sore leg through the early days of spring training. Now that he's back on the mound, Ramos will look to improve off his disappointing initial outing for the remainder of Miami's spring games.
Ramos is working through some soreness in his right leg, although he is still able to pitch, The Miami Herald reports. He was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session Monday, and at this point the soreness doesn't seem like something that will be an issue for Ramos come Opening Day, or jeopardize his spot as the Marlins' closer.
Ramos and the Marlins avoided arbitration on Friday with a $6.55 million deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins were aggressive bidders for Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, but ultimately lost out, leaving them with Ramos as their closer, which isn't the worst consolation prize. The 2016 All-Star notched 40 saves and a 2.81 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 64 innings, establishing him as one of the better closers in baseball. That got him a pay raise in excess of $3 million during his second round of arbitration.
Ramos notched his 40th save in Friday's 7-4 victory over the Nationals, giving only a walk and striking out the side in the ninth inning. The 30-year-old closer has given up only an earned run over 13.2 innings in September, while also notching 14 whiffs over that span. After tallying the first 32 saves of his career in 2015, Ramos has blown by that number this season, while also reducing the amount of homers he's surrendered from six to one.