Mets: Erasmo Ramirez’s dominance warrants an encore in 2021
Erasmo Ramirez has been a welcome surprise for the New York Mets pitching staff this season and he certainly deserves a shot to return to the ballclub in 2021.
The 2020 campaign for the New York Mets can be easily described as disappointing as a whole when looking at the big picture. However, there have been a couple of pleasant surprises for the Mets roster along the way and one of those surprises has been the effectiveness of relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez.
The 30-year old right-hander had been signed to a minor league contract this past offseason, and while he was one of the many under the radar minor league signings that get made every winter, he has certainly made quite the impression on Mets brass when allowed the opportunity to pitch this season. The success for Ramirez began this past Spring Training when he had opened eyes during camp and proceeded to pitch to a 1.13 ERA over four appearances before camps were shut down due to Covid-19.
Ramirez didn’t make the Opening Day roster out of summer camp and would patiently bide his time at the Mets alternate site in Brooklyn most of the regular season. Ramirez ended up getting the call up to the majors on September 4th, and he became the first Nicaraguan-born player to play for the Mets on September 7th against the Philadelphia Phillies. Being half-Nicaraguan myself it was certainly a proud moment for me to see him make history for the Mets.
History aside, Ramirez has done nothing but provide the Mets valuable and effective innings out of the bullpen in a swing-man type role through the month of September. His effectiveness that he has displayed on the mound since the spring certainly warrants the Mets offering a Major League contract to Ramirez next season to return to the bullpen. The Mets can certainly use an effective swingman out of the bullpen next season, and Ramirez also can make a last-minute spot start as he has starting experience with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners in the past.
Part of Ramirez’s success this season with the Mets has been him trusting and throwing his cutter more than he has in previous seasons to compliment his low-90’s fastball, while also mixing in his changeup to keep hitters off-balance. Ramirez arsenal has kept hitters batting average way below the Mendoza line when facing him this season, as well as keeping the ball in the park as the home run ball has haunted him in past seasons.
Versatility is what Ramirez can offer the Mets pitching staff next season. In terms of his versatility, Ramirez has made as many as 27 starts back in 2015, and as many as 63 appearances out of the bullpen back in 2016, both seasons as a pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays. The results on the mound this season also certainly speak for themself as this was one of the best under the radar moves the Mets front office had made this past offseason.
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Looking ahead to next year there are certainly question marks regarding the Mets pitching staff both in the starting rotation and who will be slotted into the bullpen. Yet Erasmo Ramirez can fill a Darren Oliver type of role for the Mets as a premium insurance arm out of the bullpen who can eat multiple innings and keep the team competitive regardless of the situation at hand.