Erasmo Ramirez returned to the organization that signed him as an international free agent when the Rays sent him back to the Mariners for reliever Steve Cishek in July. An organizational need for starting pitching due to a slew of injuries put Ramirez in the team's rotation plans over the final two months, and he pitched well, churning out a 3.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 11 starts. Home runs continue to be Ramirez's biggest issue, as he allowed 22 in 131.1 combined innings with Tampa Bay and Seattle (1.51 HR/9). Ramirez started to utilize a cutter for the first time last season, a pitch that held opposing hitters to a .217 average with a .383 slugging percentage, and yielded fewer homers than his two-seamer and changeup despite similar use. If he appears to have a rotation spot coming out of spring training, Ramirez still offers endgame appeal thanks to his refined arsenal and low walk rate.
Ramirez (lat) has an outside shot at being ready when the Mariners first need a fifth starter on April 11, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. He is aiming for his first bullpen session sometime next week, so he will need to progress quickly if he is going to be able to take the ball on April 11. If he is not ready then, Ariel Miranda or Rob Whalen will get the start and stick in the rotation until Ramirez is ready to be activated from the disabled list.
Ramirez (lat) emerged setback-free from his Saturday throwing session and consequently played catch again Sunday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The news was good all around for the right-hander, as his recovering lat has responded well to his first time throwing since mid-February. Ramirez reported no pain in either of the two sessions he put in over the weekend, but he acknowledges it's still going to be a lengthy process to get him ready for game action. Assuming he continues making progress, Ramirez projects for a mid-April debut in 2018.
Ramirez (lat) played catch Saturday, his first action since being shut down three weeks ago, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The downtime leaves Ramirez unlikely for Opening Day, but manager Scott Servais believes the right-hander could be ready to join the rotation by the time the Mariners need a fifth starter in mid-April.
Ramirez (lat) is expected to play catch within the next two days, Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com reports. Ramirez was shut down from all baseball activities after being diagnosed with a minor lat strain in mid-February, but is on the verge of getting back into action. It still remains unlikely that he will get stretched out in time for Opening Day, but he isn't expected to miss too much time barring any sort of setback. Look for the right-hander to further his throwing distance over the next week.
Ramirez (lat) will probably not be ready by the start of the season, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Ramirez was diagnosed with a minor lat strain in mid-February. He has been shut down since then. He'll resume throwing later this week, but that won't leave him much time to get up to speed by the start of the season. The 27-year-old righty will likely join the rotation early in the season, but his absence will leave Marco Gonzales, Andrew Moore, Ariel Miranda and Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) to fight for two Opening Day rotation spots.