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Mets sign Neil Ramirez in attempt to shore up bullpen

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Apr 29, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Neil Ramirez (59) pitches the ball against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Neil Ramirez (59) pitches the ball against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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Mets’ pen went through another hard night on Monday and has a 5.26 ERA for the season.

The New York Mets’ 2017 season has quickly taken a turn for the worse and pitching surprisingly has been at the center of the team’s struggles. Sandy Alderson and company have tabbed Neil Ramirez as the latest outside option.

Ramirez was signed to a major league deal and will take the spot of Asdrubal Cabrera who was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list. Ramirez started the year with San Francisco, but was designated for assignment. Toronto claimed him off waivers, but he never threw a pitch for the Blue Jays. Ramirez rejected an assignment, electing free agency instead.

This season, Ramirez got off to a very slow start with the Giants. He allowed 15 runs (10 earned) in 10.1 innings, translating to an 8.71 ERA. That comes off the heels of a 2016 season in which he registered an ERA of 6.00 between three different teams and 18 appearances.

Ramirez started his career with a bang. In his first MLB season with the Cubs in 2014, Ramirez allowed just seven earned runs in 50 appearances (43.2 innings) out of the pen. He also struck out 53 batters in that span and allowed just two home runs. Shortly after that season, Ramirez has been bounced around the league to four different teams in the last two years.

Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2007, Ramirez made his way up to AAA by 2011. He was then traded to the Cubs to complete the exchange for Matt Garza. He has since suited up for the Twins, Brewers, and Giants.

For his career, Ramirez has been a strikeout pitcher out of the pen. He has 110 in 92 career innings. However, he’s also a fly ball pitcher which can make him susceptible to the big hit. Over his career, Ramirez’s fly ball percentage is 51.5 compared to a ground ball rate of 28.3% according to Fangraphs. Ramirez did allow eight homers in 24.0 innings last season.

At this point, it would be difficult to perform worse than what the Mets have received from a good portion of their current bullpen. Monday night was the latest example when the Mets got tagged for six runs in the eighth inning between Hansel Robles and Josh Edgin.

Next: Mets need to start Lagares every game

For the season, the Mets’ bullpen ranks in the bottom five of the league in ERA, hits allowed, home runs allowed, and walks.

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