Mets: AJ Ramos wasting away any chances at closing again
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets pitcher AJ Ramos had an opportunity to impress 30 MLB teams this year and possibly earn a closer’s job in the offseason. Unfortunately, he’s not pitching well enough to become a closer again.
AJ Ramos is an intriguing player in the final year of his contract. The former Miami Marlins closer won’t get many save opportunities for the New York Mets this year as long Jeurys Familia stays effective and healthy.
This isn’t the case next year. Ramos is a free agent and has a strong enough track-record to possibly earn a closer’s job. With the Mets or another squad, he has the pedigree to at least entice someone.
Unfortunately, early results may hurt his odds.
Ramos has struggled more than once in the early part of 2018. Though the numbers aren’t horrendous, Ramos is capable of combusting under pressure. When you’re the closer, the pressure is all you have.
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The fact that the Mets even acquired Ramos last season is a bit odd. They were clearly on the path to selling and they did just that. However, they saw a guy with talent wasting away in Miami. I do think it was a fine move in preparation for the 2018 season. It’s a transaction that just hasn’t worked out the way they wanted it to.
Ramos didn’t make a good first impression with the Mets in 2017. He finished the year with a 4.74 ERA in 21 appearances out of the bullpen.
One year prior, Ramos went to the All-Star Game and finished the season with a 2.81 ERA. That year ended with a career-best 40 saves and what looked like a potential run at many more closer jobs in the future.
As dependent as teams are at employing a credible closer, I do think Ramos has lost all of the favor he once held. Certainly a big league pitcher who will find employment, it’s innings six, seven, and eight that belong to him.
Baseball, like life, moves pretty fast. It was only back in 2014 when Ramos pitched to a 2.11 ERA and went 7-0 out of the Marlins’ bullpen. Now it’s 2018 and he’s trending backward real fast.
Ramos can still strike a batter out and there’s a slim chance a team who is out of the pennant race on Opening Day gives him a closer’s job. The Marlins could always bring him back for such a task.
Considering he finishes the season with 32 birthdays under his belt, Ramos’ time as a closer looks like a past event. He can still turn things around this year with the Mets, picking up holds and other relief pitcher accolades along the way.
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When it comes to closing, Ramos looks done.