The 28-year-old Ramirez has bounced between the Giants, Blue Jays and Mets organizations this year, though the majority of his season has been spent in Queens. In 21 innings with the Mets, he’s struggled to a 6.43 ERA with an impressive 26 strikeouts but also a troubling 17 walks. Overall, Ramirez has a 7.18 ERA with 12.6 K/9 against 6.0 BB/9 in 31 1/3 innings between the Giants and Mets this year.
Though a potential ownership change has many Marlins fans hoping for an increased payroll, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal argues that any new owners should operate in familiar fashion and tear down the organization with an aggressive rebuild. Miami’s farm system is barren, and the team already has as much as $95MM committed to players in 2018. Rosenthal suggests that the Marlins should prepare to deal some relief pitching and market breakout outfielder Marcell Ozuna — while perhaps also beginning to think about what to do with the massive contract of Giancarlo Stanton.
- Plenty of other National League East competitors are struggling as well, with the Mets in particular playing well shy of expectations. As John Harper of the New York Daily News writes, there’s no easy solution for an organization that has been beset with injuries. The club’s short-term veteran assets are all fairly expensive, and all but Jay Bruce have had their own issues with injury and/or performance downturns. Having dealt from the farm in recent years, the upper ranks are somewhat depleted; and with needs set to arise in the near future, dealing from what’s left (particularly given the poor start) may not be advisable.
- New Mets reliever Neil Ramirez discussed his recent signing with reporters including MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, who tweets a video of the righty’s comments. Ramirez says he feels he was throwing well with the Giants despite some poor earned-run results. When the Blue Jays claimed and then outrighted him, he elected to test the market in search of “an opportunity to stick” with another team. His deal with the Mets came together in very short order.
- With the Nationals still struggling to find reliable relief arms, the team has moved top pitching prospect Erick Fedde into a bullpen role, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweets. While it seems likely that the organization still views Fedde as a starter in the long run, the consensus top-100 prospect may be of greater use in the near term out of the pen. He has impressed thus far at Double-A, throwing 42 2/3 innings of 3.16 ERA ball with 7.4 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9, and could conceivably function as a multi-inning option in the majors. While a deadline deal or two remains all but inevitable for the division-leading Nats, utilizing Fedde in that manner might provide a boost while limiting the need to part with young talent later this summer. Of course, the team tried something similar last year with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez with less-than-ideal results, though both were still able to return a big piece in Adam Eaton over the winter.
The Mets have placed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. His active roster spot will go to reliever Neil Ramirez, whose signing was made official, with the 40-man spot cleared by moving Jeurys Familia to the 60-day DL.
[Related: Updated New York Mets depth chart]
Cabrera has a sprained left thumb, per the club announcement. The specifics of that injury had caused some confusion recently. While Cabrera seemingly believed there was a ligament tear, the club stated that the issue with the thumb is limited to the joint.
It’s not immediately clear just how long Cabrera will be down, though perhaps there’s some cause for optimism. After all, he had been trying to play through the injury, so it may be that a sufficient rest will allow it to fully heal without a long layoff or rehab stint.
What does seem apparent is that the Mets won’t immediately dip into their farm to call up top prospect Amed Rosario. Though he has performed admirably at Triple-A, reports suggest that the club isn’t interested in bumping Rosario to the majors in the near-term.
Cabrera, 31, has been hitting somewhat below his recent levels through 33 games of action. Over 127 plate appearances, he owns a .257/.339/.381 batting line with three home runs. While that’s a big step back from his power numbers from last year — 23 total long balls and a .474 slugging percentage — Cabrera had ticked up in the plate-discipline department, with just twenty strikeouts against eleven walks.
The Mets have agreed to a deal with free-agent righty Neil Ramirez, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Ramirez, who just hit the open market after rejecting an outright assignment, will receive a major league pact.
[Related: Updated New York Mets depth chart]
Ramirez, 27, opened the season with the Giants before being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays. He was designated and outrighted before seeing any action with Toronto, though, and just went unclaimed the second time through the wire.
New York will need to place Ramirez on its active roster, as he’s out of minor league options and thus cannot be sent down without first clearing waivers. The club will evidently be banking on Ramirez’s peripherals turning around his results. He gave up 15 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings with San Francisco, but also managed an 18:4 K/BB ratio with a strong 12.6% swinging-strike rate while dealing with some clear evidence of bad luck (.500 BABIP; 33.0% strand rate). The right-hander once looked like a potential long-term piece in the Cubs’ bullpen after coming over from the Rangers organization as a PTBNL in the Matt Garza trade, but shoulder and triceps injuries have slowed his career.
Reliever Neil Ramirez, whom the Blue Jays designated for assignment on Tuesday, has rejected an outright demotion to Triple-A in favor of free agency, per a team announcement.
The 27-year-old Ramirez didn’t last long with the Toronto organization, which claimed him off waivers from the Giants on May 4 and designated him less than a week later. Ramirez’s only action this year has come with San Francisco, with which he threw 10 1/3 innings and, despite racking up 18 strikeouts against four walks, allowed 15 earned runs on 16 hits.
Ramirez, once an effective option with the Cubs from 2014-15, is now primed to endure his second straight nomadic season. He was a member of the Cubs, Brewers and Twins a year ago, when his issued preventing runs first cropped up. Thanks to both a 21.1 percent home run-to-fly ball ratio and a 6.75 BB/9, Ramirez pitched to a 6.00 ERA in a combined 24 innings with those clubs.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- A week after the Twins designated him for assignment, reliever Michael Tonkin has cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Rochester, tweets LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. As such, the right-hander will remain with the only major league organization he has known since going in the 30th round of the 2008 draft. Prior to his designation, Tonkin threw 11 early season innings in Minnesota and offset a 10.64 K/9 with an 8.18 BB/9, the latter of which helped lead to a 6.55 ERA.
- The Blue Jays have outrighted reliever Neil Ramirez to Triple-A Buffalo, per a team announcement. Ramirez, whom the Jays designated Thursday, came over from San Francisco via waivers on May 4 and hasn’t yet thrown a pitch with the Toronto organization. Despite piling up 18 strikeouts against four walks as a Giant this season, the 27-year-old Ramirez managed an 8.71 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with the club.
- The Athletics have outrighted outfielder Jaff Decker to Triple-A Nashville, where he began the season. The A’s added Decker to their 25- and 40-man rosters April 15, and he proceeded to hit .200/.322/.260 in a career-high 62 plate appearances before they designated him Tuesday. A former high-end prospect, the 27-year-old Decker owns a .269/.370/.410 line in 1,542 Triple-A PAs.
- The Cubs have released catcher Carlos Corporan, who joined the organization on a minor league deal in January. In his most recent action, Corporan hit a paltry .197/.246/.333 in 196 combined PAs between the Marlins’ and Rays’ Triple-A affiliates last season. The 33-year-old hasn’t cracked the majors since 2015, and has batted .218/.280/.342 in 780 PAs at the game’s highest level.
- The Marlins have announced that they’ve outrighted righty Joe Gunkel, who they designated for assignment last week when they selected Steve Lombardozzi’s contract. Gunkel has headed from the Orioles to the Dodgers (in a minor trade) and from the Dodgers to the Marlins (on a waiver claim) in the past several weeks, and he’s pitched just 17 minor-league innings so far this season as a result. The 25-year-old had a solid 2016 in the Orioles system, posting a 4.08 ERA, 6.0 K/9 and a very strong 1.1 BB/9 in 141 1/3 innings in the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that they’ve designated right-hander Neil Ramirez for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man and 25-man roster for fellow righty Mike Bolsinger, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Buffalo. Bolsinger is slated to make a spot start for the Jays with J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez on the disabled list.
The 27-year-old Ramirez had just been claimed off waivers. Though he was added to the active roster briefly, he did not see any game action for the Jays. Earlier, with the Giants, Ramirez turned in 10 1/3 confounding innings in which he allowed 15 earned runs but also racked up 18 strikeouts against just four walks. Presumably, Toronto will hope for a chance to keep him in the minors if he clears waivers.
Bolsinger, 29, had a 1.46 ERA with an 18-to-3 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 Triple-A innings thus far in 2017. That’s a considerable improvement over his 2016 work, when he logged a 6.83 ERA in 27 2/3 big league innings due largely to a troubles with the long ball. He did have solid K/BB numbers in both the Majors and the minors last year, however. Bolsinger had a strong season in the Majors as recently as 2015, when he logged a 3.62 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 53.1 percent ground-ball rate in 109 1/3 innings for the Dodgers.
The Blue Jays have claimed righty Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Giants, per a club announcement. San Francisco had recently designated him for assignment.
Ramirez, who’ll soon turn 28, was knocked around in his 10 1/3 innings on the year with the Giants, coughing up 15 earned runs. But he retired 18 batters via strikeout while only issuing four free passes. Optimists can also point to Ramirez’s current .500 BABIP and 33.0% strand rate — both of which are unlikely to continue at such extremes.
Toronto will plug Ramirez onto the active roster, as he’s out of options. The club will hope the luck can turn for the righty, who has struggled with injury in recent years but has at times been quite impressive. Thus far in 2017, he has shown an increase in average fastball velocity (to 92.8 mph) and swinging-strike rate (12.6%) as against his 2016 numbers.
Ramirez inked a minor league deal with the Giants over the winter and then made the team’s Opening Day bullpen. Things didn’t go well for the 27-year-old, though, as he threw 10 1/3 innings with the Giants this month and allowed 15 earned runs on 16 hits. However, Ramirez did post a lofty strikeout total (18) while limiting walks (four). His issues preventing runs this season have stemmed from a somewhat high home run-to-fly ball ratio (13.3 percent). The long ball was an even bigger problem last year for Ramirez, who spent time with the Cubs, Twins and Brewers and allowed homers on 21.1 percent of fly balls, leading to a 6.00 ERA across 24 innings.
In 57 2/3 frames with the Cubs from 2014-15, Ramirez only surrendered HRs at a 4.3 percent clip. Thanks in part to that stinginess, and a 10.61 K/9 and 3.59 BB/9, he recorded a 1.87 ERA during those two seasons. Ramirez has long had difficulty generating ground balls, however, as the 2007 first-round pick has done so just 28.3 percent of the time in 92 career big league innings.
Like Ramirez, the 30-year-old Morris signed a minors pact with the Giants during the offseason. Although he has registered below-average strikeout and walk rates per nine (6.4 and 3.77), the former Pirate and Marlin owns an impressive 2.80 ERA in 280 innings. He has helped his cause with a 58.6 percent grounder rate.
The Rockies and the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which owns Coors Field, agreed to a 30-year, $200MM lease Wednesday to continue housing the team there, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post. The two sides had spent four years negotiating the contract, which Major League Baseball approved Wednesday. The Rockies’ lease would have expired Thursday without an agreement, and that could have put their future in question. Instead, they’re now in line to remain at Coors Field through 2047. And, to the team’s credit, none of the pending $200MM in improvements to the stadium will come via taxpayer money. Coors opened in 1995 at a cost of $300MM, more than half of which ($162MM) was public money.
More from the majors:
- If the Rays don’t pare down their 40-man roster by trading catcher Curt Casali, they’re likely to designate fellow backstop Luke Maile or right-hander Ryan Garton for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin first noted last week, after the Rays had signed Derek Norris, that Casali or Maile might not be long for the organization. The team optioned the two catchers and Garton to the minors Wednesday.
- The Orioles are aiming for a May 10 return for right-hander Chris Tillman, manager Buck Showalter informed David Hall of MLB.com. Tillman has been dealing with a shoulder issue since early in the offseason, though he does feel good about the progress he has made, per Hall. When he comes back, not only will Tillman try to help pitch the Orioles to another playoff berth, but the free agent-to-be will attempt to make a case for a rich contract.
- Rangers righty Andrew Cashner seemed likely to return from biceps tendinitis by April 15, the first time the team will need a fifth starter, but that’s n0w in doubt. Pitching coach Doug Brocail told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he’s “not real optimistic” Cashner will debut in two weeks, and noted: “I want to make sure that when we get him back, we get him back for the full year. I don’t want any setbacks.” In the meantime, Texas could turn to Dillon Gee and/or Nick Martinez to fill in for Cashner.
- The Giants have chosen righty Neil Ramirez over southpaw Steven Okert for their final bullpen spot, Alex Espinoza of MLB.com was among those to report. The out-of-options Ramirez, who inked a minor league pact with the Giants over the winter, planned to opt out of the deal had he not made their roster, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. San Francisco “didn’t want to lose Ramirez,” said manager Bruce Bochy, whose bullpen will open the year with one lefty (Ty Blach).