Ramos’ demotion continues a dud of a season for a hurler who was one of the Phillies’ top relievers in 2018. After posting a 2.32 ERA/3.54 FIP with 8.86 K/9 and 3.16 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings last season, the 26-year-old has lost 2 mph on his fastball and his numbers have declined with it. He ran a 4.15 ERA/4.94 FIP with 6.23 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a subpar 28.6 percent groundball rate over 13 frames before the Phillies optioned him. Ramos also missed time earlier this season with biceps tendinitis, which may partially explain his 2019 drop-off.
Thanks to Ramos’ woes, not to mention a spate of injuries to other key relievers, Philly’s bullpen has fallen flat this season. The unit’s 4.73 ERA/5.01 FIP has helped lead to a disappointing start for the club after a headline-stealing winter. Losers of six straight, the Phillies are 39-37, though they’re still just a game out of a wild-card spot.
De Los Santos will try to right the ship for the pitching-needy team Sunday in his first-ever major league start. Acquired from the Padres for shortstop Freddy Galvis in December 2017, De Los Santos is MLB.com’s sixth-ranked Phillies prospect. There’s some question as to whether the 23-year-old will stick as a starter, though he has worked in that role in the minors.
So far this season, De Los Santos has totaled eight starts and 35 2/3 innings of 3.28 ERA pitching (with an ugly 5.24 FIP) with 11.1 K/9 and 3.28 BB/9 at the Triple-A level. He debuted with the Phillies earlier this season and tossed seven innings out of their bullpen over four appearances.