Newly acquired AJ Ramos will assume the ninth inning role for the Mets until Jeurys Familia returns
The news wasn’t surprising, but Terry Collins mentioned before Tuesday night’s loss in Colorado that newly acquired AJ Ramos will fill in as the closer until Jeurys Familia returns. Ramos was acquired from the Marlins before the trade deadline in exchange for Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes.
Ramos saved 20 games this season for Miami in 22 attempts. He racked up a total of 92 saves since 2015 in a Marlins uniform. With the Mets shipping off Addison Reed prior to the deadline, Ramos is the only pitcher with extended experience in closing games. He’s had just five blown saves over the last two years.
A lot of rides are going to be an adventure though. Ramos has only surrendered 6.3 hits per nine innings in his major league career. However, the 30-year old Texas native has battled control issues. Ramos has a mark of 5.1 walks per nine innings, which includes his one appearance as a Met in Seattle. For his career, Ramos has walked 174 batters in 328.1 innings.
Sandy Alderson pulled off this trade to cover the impending loss of Reed as well as possible. Reed could theoretically still come back to New York in the off-season, but the Mets will at least have Ramos, Familia, and Jerry Blevins to handle late game work.
Ramos is one of very few true relievers with four pitches in his arsenal. On good days he’s very difficult to solve. On days when his command isn’t there, hitters can and have locked in on him. Still, he manages to keep the ball in the yard for the most part. Ramos has allowed 18 home runs in his Major League career (0.5 per nine innings).
It looked like Ramos was going to get an opportunity to keep Tuesday’s game tied in the ninth inning, but Collins stuck with Hansel Robles instead. The Rockies wound up a walk-off winner on an RBI single by Nolan Arenado.
The Mets may find save chances harder to come by on the immediate horizon. After the series in Colorado wraps up, New York will return home to face the seemingly unstoppable Dodgers this weekend.