Sept. 21: The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, announced that Ramirez has been assigned outright to their roster after going unclaimed on waivers.
Sept. 17: The Padres announced they’ve designated reliever Nick Ramirez for assignment. The move creates a 40-man roster spot for Vince Velasquez, who has been selected to the big league club to start this evening’s game against the Cardinals. San Diego signed Velasquez to a minor league deal on Wednesday and announced at the time that he’d be added to the major league roster to make a start this weekend.
Ramirez signed a minor league deal with San Diego over the winter and was selected to the majors in mid-April. He’s been up-and-down over the course of the season, making thirteen MLB appearances and getting into 30 games with Triple-A El Paso. Often called upon to work multiple innings out of the bullpen, Ramirez has tallied 20 1/3 frames of 5.75 ERA ball at the big league level this year. He hasn’t missed many bats, striking out just 15.4% of opponents with a below-average 9.4% swinging strike rate. But Ramirez has avoided walks and induced ground-balls at a slightly above-average clip.
In the minors, Ramirez has had more success generating whiffs. He’s fanned an average 24.1% of batters faced with El Paso, although his ERA has been inflated by some poor sequencing and batted ball fortune. Opposing hitters have a .339 batting average on balls in play against Ramirez in the minors, and just over a third of the baserunners he’s allowed have come around to score, resulting in a similarly disappointing 5.23 ERA in Triple-A.
Ramirez appeared in the majors with the Tigers between 2019-20, logging 79 2/3 frames of relief during his rookie campaign. All told, the 32-year-old owns a 4.55 ERA in 110 2/3 innings at the highest level. The Friars will place Ramirez on waivers over the coming days. He’d have the right to elect free agency should he pass through unclaimed by virtue of the fact that he’s previously been outrighted in his career. Even if he were to accept an outright assignment, he’d qualify for minor league free agency at the end of the season if he’s not added back to the 40-man roster before then.