For Yankees' Edwar Ramirez, K's not enough

February, 28, 2010
2/28/10
4:15
PM ET
River Avenue Blues says goodbye to Edwar Ramirez:

    Chan-Ho Park finally made it to Tampa today (more on him later), and to clear a roster spot on the 40-man, the Yankees have designated Edwar Ramirez for assignment. Ramirez, entering his age 29 season, has been with the Yanks since mid-2006. Over parts of three seasons with the big league club, he has appeared in 96 games and has thrown 98.1 innings. He has a career ERA of 5.22 and an impressive K/9 IP of 10.6, but he’s also walked 5.1 guys per 9 and has a tendency to give up the long ball.

    His “Bugs Bunny” change-up can be devastating, but he’s struggled to find consistency in his stints in the Majors. I’d imagine some other team will pick him up quickly.

That's a pretty solid summary of Ramirez's career with the Yankees. I'd like to add just a couple of things.

When the Yankees found Ramirez, he was pitching for the Edinburg (Texas) Coyotes in the independent United League. Having already washed out of the Angels' system, Ramirez had somewhere picked up one of the best changeups anybody had ever seen. In the minors, anyway. The very next year, Ramirez was pitching in Yankee Stadium.

Since then, he's bounced back and forth between the Bronx and Scranton, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a pitcher with a larger majors/Triple-A performance gap ...

           IP  H/9  BB/9  SO/9   ERA

Majors 98 8.5 5.1 10.6 5.22
Triple-A 102 5.4 2.7 12.9 1.94

When you see something like this, you can assume with some safety that our pitcher doesn't throw particularly hard, and the stuff that's killing them softly in Triple-A is getting killed in the majors. Usually, though, such pitchers are exposed before they even reach the majors; in Triple- or even Double-A.

Obviously, Ramirez has walked far too many hitters in the majors, perhaps because he's afraid to throw strikes, which might be smart because he's also given up far too many home runs in the majors (not shown here).

There's a tendency to write Ramirez off, which the Yankees seem to have done. He throws his fastball just 88 miles an hour and his slider is essentially a throwaway pitch. But he's still got all those strikeouts, and whether they're meaningful or not, I suspect there are a few pitching coaches out there who would like to find out for themselves.

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