In assessing the job Davey Martinez and his staff did guiding Washington’s club through the rough 55-107 campaign this summer, Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo said he was particularly impressed with work they did with the pitchers in the nation’s capital, and especially the relievers.
“I think you’ve seen a lot of progress in some of our pitchers, especially our bullpen has done a remarkable job,” Rizzo told reporters over the final days of the season.
“Taking some unproven guys, some guys that were cast aside by other organizations, and really made them into big league talent that we can depend on.”
Erasmo Ramìrez, 32, made a total of 71 appearances in the majors between 2017-21, but the 11-year veteran ended up making 60 appearances out of the bullpen for the Nationals this past season, after signing a minor league deal with the team last March.
“I’ve known Erasmo for a long time,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the right-gander tossed 3 1⁄3 scoreless in relief in his second outing after he was called up for the first time in April. “He’s a fierce competitor, he loves to compete, but he’s got a four-pitch mix [which] he utilizes, [and] he always keeps hitters off-balance.”
In his 60 appearances and 86 1⁄3 total innings pitched, Ramìrez posted a 2.92 ERA, a 4.05 FIP, 14 walks, 61 Ks, and a solid .245/.286/.390 line against, giving up 11 HRs on the year as one of the more reliable arms in Martinez’s bullpen.
Nats’ Season in Review Notes: “[Ramírez’s 86 1⁄3] innings pitched led all National League relievers (2nd in MLB) while his 27.3% inherited runners scored ranked fifth in the National League.”
Ramìrez threw five pitches, but relied predominantly on his cutter (45.8%) and his sinker (39.4%), mixing in a curveball (6.7%), four-seam fastball (4.7%), and a changeup (3.4%) with opposing hitters putting up a .200 AVG on the cutter (which averaged 89.1 MPH), and .320 AVG on his 93.1 MPH sinker.
“Ramirez has done awesome,” Martinez said after a two-inning, May 10th outing by the right-hander.
“And the more we keep putting him in the more I like him in any situation. He’s crafty, he understands the game, he understands how to get guys out.”
In a mid-July talk with reporters, Martinez discussed how important the versatility a reliever like Ramírez brings is to a relief corps.
Nats’ Season in Review Notes: “Erasmo Ramírez led Washington’s bullpen with a 2.46 ERA as a reliever.”
“He’s been awesome all year long,” the manager said after Ramìrez tossed four scoreless over two appearances in a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “We call upon him and he takes the ball and we can count on him to go out there and give us a few innings, and does well doing it. He knows his role. We used him in a bunch of different situations. We spot started him one day, but he does well, he keeps us in the ballgame, and he gets outs, that’s the key, he gets out and throws strikes.”
In an early September press conference, Martinez discussed how he held Ramìrez up as an example for the younger arms in D.C. of how they should approach their own opportunities.
“I talk about Erasmo [Ramírez], how good Erasmo is,” Martinez explained.
“Erasmo is good because he doesn’t care if guys hit him. He just wants early, weak contact. It doesn’t bother him that he doesn’t strike guys out or whatever. He just wants to get guys out.”
In 28 appearances and 42 IP after the All-Star Break, Ramìrez put up a 1.50 ERA, a 2.90 FIP, five walks, 28 Ks, and a .189/.226/.291 line against after he put up a 4.26 ERA, 5.14 FIP, nine walks, 33 Ks, and a .291/.335./474 line against in 44 1⁄3 IP in the first half of the 2022 regular season.
Nats’ Season in Review Notes: “Ramírez posted team-best scoreless innings streaks of 18.0 innings (Aug. 12 – Sept. 11) and 16.0 (July 17 – Aug. 9) this season.”
Martinez said it was all about the veteran attacking hitters as he had all year.
“He’s just attacking the strike zone,” the manager said, “utilizing all his pitches.
“But he goes after hitters. He throws strikes after strikes.”
“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and then some,” Martinez added, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato.
“He’s been a quiet leader in the bullpen as well. He’s helped out a lot of guys. But he’s a bulldog. He takes the ball every day.”
“I’m kind of proud of myself, how I’ve been throwing,” Ramírez told the MLB.com reporter.
“I’m just happy they gave me the opportunities all over. … I’m just happy I’ve been able to really take the task. I know a couple times I’ve given up the games, but everything is about the next day. After you give up a game, what are you going to do the next day? Fix your mistakes, go do your best and if you’re pitching good, try to just keep it going.”
Ramìrez went back on the free agent market last week. Did he do enough to earn another contract in D.C. for 2023?
On Monday afternoon, the Nationals announced they had requested unconditional release waivers on Seth Romero, the 2017 1st Round pick, who has dealt with both disciplinary and injury issues in college and the pro game, and more recently was arrested twice for driving while intoxicated, the latest this past weekend.
The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty reported on the club’s decision to cut ties with the left-hander last night:
News: The Nationals have released pitcher Seth Romero after he was arrested on DWI + possession charges in Sweeny, Texas on Sunday. This was Romero's second DWI arrest of 2022: https://t.co/7B2TtGtAoz— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) November 14, 2022
Right-hander Hobie Harris has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals, source said. The deal includes an invite to spring training. Harris, 29, posted a 2.04 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 53 innings with Triple-A Nashville last season.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 15, 2022