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Saturday, July 20, 2013
Neil Ramirez: 'My shoulder feels fine'

By Todd Wills

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Neil Ramirez was aware that his name was out there as one of the players that could be headed to the Chicago Cubs for Matt Garza on Friday.

Yet on Friday night he focused on his first start in two weeks, and though it didn't go like he wanted it to -- Ramirez allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings for Double-A Frisco -- he said Saturday by phone that the two-week layoff will only help him deal with a shoulder issue.

"My shoulder feels fine," Ramirez said. "I'm ready to get back and throwing for the rest of the season."

Ramirez said that his struggles on Friday were more the result of rust and not being completely sharp with his pitches. His fastball was fine, he said, at 93-95 mph as it usually is.

Last season, he was on the disabled list with a back strain. This season, the shoulder issue. He said too much is being made out of it.

"This year it is night and day," said Ramirez, who is 9-3 with a 3.68 ERA.

Media reports indicated that the Garza-to-Texas trade was held up because of medical concerns involving one or more of the Rangers' prospects going to the Cubs. There is no word on which players raised concerns.