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ramirez
Photo: Jon Wells

#31

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Erasmo Ramírez

Erasmo José Ramírez Olivera

Height: 5'10"    Weight: 215

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 05/02/1990 in Rivas, Nicaragua

Acquired: In trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, for Steve Cishek (07/28/2017)

MLB Debut: 04/09/2012

Free Agent after: 2019 season

The ripple effect from Erasmo Ramírez trades is fun to look at. The 2009 Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Ramírez broke in with the M's in 2012 and was a serviceable if not remarkable back-end starter and long reliever for a couple of years before being dealt to Tampa Bay in 2015. The return for Seattle on that deal was pitcher Mike Montgomery, an impressive southpaw that we saw as a future star but who struggled with inconsistency and bounced between starting and relieving. Montgomery was then shipped off to the Cubs in July of 2016 in exchange for Daniel Vogelbach. Fast-forward to last season, when the Mariners' pitching staff resembled a post-op ward in a MASH unit and GM Jerry Dipoto was frantically wheeling and dealing to get enough arms on staff to finish out the schedule, and free-agent-to-be reliever Steve Cishek was traded to the Rays for...Erasmo Ramírez. So, Ramírez became Montgomery became Vogelbach, and Cishek (who came to the M's a free agent) became Ramírez; or you could factor the equation and reduce it to Steve Cishek => Daniel Vogelbach, with Erasmo acting as the conduit. What does it mean? Nothing, really, it's just an amusing thought exercise for hot-stove nerds. (Furthering the notion, Montgomery and Cishek are now teammates with the Cubs.)

But here and now, Ramírez slots back into the Mariners' starting rotation, where he hopes to build on a solid finish to 2017 that saw him make seven quality starts (11 total) for the M's. Even so, some argue that Erasmo is better suited to relief, citing reduced effectiveness when he faces a lineup for the second or third time in a game; he could well end up in the 'pen if the rest of the rotation remains healthy and Ariel Miranda continues to be a viable alternative. One way or another, though, the M's will need Ramírez to log a lot of innings in 2018, beginning as soon as he returns from the DL—he suffered a strained latissimus muscle early in spring training that has him sidelined through the start of the regular season. Lat strains can be tricky—just ask James Paxton—and Erasmo will likely need a rehab start or two in the minors before he takes the mound at Safeco, but but reports were generally positive on his recovery throughout the spring.

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