Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Edwar Ramirez provides a curious case for the Yankees. Anyone whose watched the Yankees last season knows how amazing his changeup can be, and yet how hard he can get hit. His fastball sits around 90 mph, with a changeup that has fooled hitters on more than one occasion. Last season Ramirez went 5-1 with a 3.90 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 55.1 innings. Those aren't bad numbers for a middle reliever, especially the more than 1 strikeout per inning he posted, but many think he is better than he shows. This could be the case. In his first 14 outings of last season, which amounted to 16 innings, Ramirez gave up 1 run. He also went the entire month of July without giving up a single hit. That's 11.1 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. However, June, August and September proved to be difficult for Ramirez who posted ERA's of 7.36, 6.94, and 8.44 in those months. However, his issue is the big inning. In August for example, he gave up 9 runs in 11.2 innings, but 8 of those runs came in two outings. 11 of his August appearances were scoreless, and what hurt him in the other 3 were the long ball. If he can learn to limit damage he could be really effective. The measure of a middle reliever is how often they can carry the ball to the next pitcher without allowing any runs. In this Ramirez has succeeded more often than not. In 55 appearances last season, 45 of them were scoreless outings. That isn't to say they were all clean outings, but they were scoreless. In the remaining 10 outings, Ramirez allowed a total of 24 runs. Ouch.
My Fearless Prediction:
Ramirez harnesses the energy of his changeup, and complements it with better placement of his fastball effectively allowing him to have a monster year where he posts an ERA in the mid-2's, and strikes out Jason Varitek every time he faces him.
Little Known Ramirez Fact:
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is loosely based on Edwar Ramirez's life.