Veteran right-hander AJ Ramos, who’s in camp with the Angels as a non-roster invitee, has been diagnosed with a torn capsule in his right shoulder and will likely be out for the entire 2022 season, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com).
It’s a disheartening setback for the clearly talented but oft-injured Ramos, who has managed just 27 innings total over the past four seasons — due primarily to troubles in that same shoulder. Ramos hit the injured list around Memorial Day 2018 while pitching for the Mets, and just three weeks later it was announced that he was headed for surgery to repair a torn labrum. The right-hander went more than two years between big league appearances while rehabbing that injury, and he’s only made it back to the mound for sparse looks with the Rockies (2020) and Angels (2021) in that time.
Now 35 years old, Ramos was an All-Star with the Marlins back in 2016 and, for a few years, was one of the more effective relievers in the National League. From 2013-16, he tallied 278 1/3 innings of 2.62 ERA ball while racking up 72 saves and punching out 27.4% of the opponents he faced. Walks were an issue even at that point (12.6%), but Ramos’ ability to miss bats and limit hard contact helped him to offset that penchant for free passes.
Back in 2020, Ramos told reporters: “[Earlier in my career], I was motivated to show everybody that I was good enough. Now, I’m motivated just to play — to have the max amount of fun doing it.”
There should be no doubt that Ramos, who has a 3.04 earned run average, 99 saves, 46 holds and a 27.2% strikeout rate in 373 1/3 career innings, is “good enough,” to use his own words. The question at this point is simply one of whether he’ll embark on yet another comeback attempt next year in what would be his age-36 season.