Projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners: Erasmo Ramirez

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Erasmo Ramirez
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Erasmo Ramirez /

In a strange 2017 season, perhaps the strangest occurrence was the return of Erasmo Ramirez to the Seattle Mariners, and his subsequent rise to a not to shabby, ok, not bad starting pitcher.

Acquired from the Rays on July 28th for Steve Cishek, Erasmo Ramirez quietly held the Mariners rotation together in August, prompting the fun nickname, Er”ace”mo from some fans. While not an ace, Ramirez did provide solid inning for the team down the stretch.

After joining the rotation, Ramirez posted good numbers for the Mariners. His 3.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP were respectable. So to where his 7.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 ratios. On the surface, Ramirez appeared to be the prototypical #4 starter.

However, a deeper dive into numbers do raise some eyebrows. His 4.71 FIP as a starter is sub-optimal, as was his 14.7% HR/FB rate. Overall, Ramirez posted solid numbers, including a 4.39 ERA, a 4.43 FIP, and 1.17 WHIP.

Ramirez was more effective as a reliever. His true place of value is in the Chris Devinski type of role. Unfortunately, Ramirez is slated to begin the season in the #4 spot of the rotation, and will need to log serious innings to help the Mariners end their playoff drought.

Sodo Mojo’s Projections for Erasmo Ramirez: 126 innings, 65 ER, 100 K’s, 40 BB, 18 HR, 4.64 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 1.31 WHIP

Overall, Erasmo Ramirez is a suitable #5 starter, if only for 20-24 starts. However, the Mariners have pegged Erasmo as their #4 starter. Ultimately, it is this decision that may cost the M’s a chance for playoff glory.

While it will be easy to blame Ramirez for failing (if he indeed does), the true blame lies with the organization for not putting Ramirez in the best position to succeed.

Ramirez is actually more than serviceable when facing a lineup for the first time. Opponents slash just a pedestrian .249/.301/.418 against him on their first look, including an excellent 2.94 K/BB ratio.

On Ramirez’ second go around the lineup, opponents fare better, but still not great, slashing .258/.316/.425. Ramirez still post a 2.93 K/BB in that stretch as well. Ramirez feels like a natural fit for the long relief role, but is instead being relied upon to give the Mariners what he might not be capable of providing.

The Mariners will need several players to outperform the back of their baseball card to make a run at a Wild Card spot. Erasmo will need to be one of those guys. That is, at least, until reinforcements could arrive. Can Ramirez do it? Only time will tell.