Rising Apple’s Year in Review series continues today as we look at one of the components of one of the worst bullpens in baseball last season. Elvin Ramirez spent more than one part of the season up in the ‘pen for the Mets in 2012, and although his overall line is not an impressive one, the 25-year-old reliever had a decent year and ended up being a productive player for New York.
How He Did on the Mound
In between his stops at the Major League level, Ramirez spent time at both Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo, having success with both teams. In his 41 overall appearances in the Minors (33 for Binghamton, 8 for Buffalo), Elvin put together a 3-2 record with a 2.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched.
In his first tour with the Mets, he struggled in his 5 appearances in June, where he gave up 7 earned runs in 7 innings pitched. His troubles continued in 4 innings pitched through July, as he gave up 3 more runs, bringing his ERA close to double digits for the majority of the early part of his season. As the year progressed, Ramirez improved greatly, with Terry
Collins using him in more stressful situations. He appeared in 20 games for New York, putting together an 0-1 record with a 5.48 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched. After the All-Star Game, Ramirez appeared in 15 games, putting together a much more reasonable 3.77 ERA.
Areas to Improve Upon
That leads me straight into what he needs to be working on this winter down in the Dominican Winter Leauges. There was one constant in Elvin’s statistics from both the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues that needs improvement, and that was the amount of walks he allowed to opposing hitters. In his 41 games in the minors, Ramirez allowed 33 hits and 32 walks. In the Bigs, it was more of the same; like I said before, he appeared in 20 games for the Mets, and allowed 24 hits and 2o walks. To be a successful reliever, he needs to cut down on his walk rate and give himself more of a chance to succeed. The old adage in baseball is that leadoff walks will always come around to bite a pitcher in the behind, and Elvin’s 2012 proves this theory.
With no outs in an inning, he allowed 10 walks to opposing hitters, holding a 4.91 ERA in that situation. He was able to get things under control with one out in the inning (1.13 ERA, 6 BBs allowed), but it all went south with two outs in the inning, as he walked 5 more hitters and his ERA jumped to 12.00. His incredibly high ERA with two outs in an inning is a direct result of handing out so many free passes at the start of frames. This winter, he needs to concentrate of retiring the first batter he faces, as it will put him in better shape for remaining part of his outings.
Projected Role in 2013
Although the bullpen was one of the weakest parts of the 2012 Mets, we saw a few relievers with some potential to help the club in 2013, and Elvin Ramirez could be part of the solution for the future. With rumors pointing to Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch not returning to the club, I anticipate Elvin having a legitimate chance at making the club out of spring training and finding a home in the bullpen. I see him as a potential fringe guy, with his status on the Big League squad dependent on who Alderson brings in via trade and/or free agency this winter. If he doesn’t make the team, he will be the first reliever to get called up from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
There have been no trade rumors surrounding Ramirez, and there shouldn’t be, as he didn’t produce enough at the Major League level to get teams interested in the young reliever. He is under team control and is set to make $480K in 2013 if he’s spending his time in the Minor Leagues.