Mariners Insider

Erasmo Ramirez returns to a rotation

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm with 7 Comments »
May 5, 2012 4:30 pm
Erasmo Ramirez

When he made the Seattle Mariners opening day roster, Erasmo  Ramirez was the youngest player on a big-league team – a 21-year-old who earned a role in the bullpen largely through his spring stats.

Now, he’s 22 and now a Tacoma Rainier, sent down today to rejoin a starting rotation, and manager Eric Wedge has no doubt he’ll return to Seattle as a starting pitcher.

“He did a great job here in different situatons, and there’s no doubt in my mind he can start here,” Wedge said. “Right now, if we needed a spot starter, Erasmo isn’t stretched out enough to give us innings. We’re a month in, and he needed innings.”

In his place in the bullpen, the Mariners dropped veteran Shawn Kelley, who’s now a year and half removed from major elbow surgery.

“I was healthy in spring training, but my arm strength wasn’t all the way back,” Kelley said. “I think it is now. I have more velocity on my fastball, my slider has a sharper break.”

Kelley’s role?

“When the phone rings, I’ll be ready,” he said. “It could be one batter or multiple innings. I feel great, better than when I came up last September.”

As for Ramirez, he’ll likely need three or four starts to be ready to go six innings or more, but that could change depending upon how right-handers Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood pitch.

As the benching of Chone Figgins shows, the Mariners have patience, but it’s not infinite.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. timeout says:

    Which means what for Iwakuma? He’s not a reliever…

  2. Larry Larue says:

    No one wants to talk about it, but not sure Mariners can send Iwakuma to Tacoma – whether it’s in his contract or a matter of ‘honor.’
    Have to believe if they could, they would.

  3. Palerydr says:

    So they can’t send him down to get inn because they want to save face? Does that apply to Smoak as well?

  4. BobbyK says:

    The Twins suck!

  5. timeout says:

    I’ll see if I can find out about Iwakuma. I doubt that it’s “honor”, but it might be a pre-signing promise of some kind. He needs to pitch.

    Re the ballgame, Seager is hitterish these days. But poor Swarzak got a squeeze job from Laz Diaz like I’ve seldom seen. Usually it’s been the M’s on the receiving end of a series of calls like that. At any rate, it was good to see them take advantage of it.

    Felix was nails. that’s a stopper for you.

    That shortstop for the Twins–Carroll?–can motor. He should have some years of good play ahead of him if he can put the bat on the ball. Looks solid in the field.

    A heck of a lot better than that dump job I saw last night.

  6. timeout says:

    Just looked up Jamey Carroll–he’s been in the bigs since 2002, so he has already had some years of good play. (Ha.) I’m surprised that he’s only stolen 65 bases in his career.

    At least I’ve heard of this Hernandez kid for the M’s.

  7. timeout says:

    Larry’s on target again–the guy who sometimes gives me inside info has nothing on Iwakuma. As for me, I can’t get Kuroda out of my mind when considering Iwakuma; if he’s allowed to settle in, I think he’ll be a decent ML pitcher.

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