Exit Interview 2020: Roel Ramirez

After every season (dating back to 2012), we’ve spent time looking at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals that season.  They might have gotten a couple of innings, they might have played every day, but if they played, they get a post.  Usually, I like to term this like the players are packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  This year, of course, was anything but typical.  So we’ll look at every player, we’ll take in some of their stats, but we won’t be giving out grades this season or delving too much into the positive/negative.  There are just too many variables in the Year of COVID for that to be reasonable.  As he has for the past few years, cardinalsgifs has lent his enormous talents to our header image and we thank him for it!

Player: Roel Ramirez

Season stats: 0-0, 81.00 ERA, 1 G, 0.2 IP, 6 H, 4 HR, 1 BB, 1 K, 82.69 FIP, 10.500 WHIP, 13.5 K/9, -0.3 bWAR

Postseason stats: DNP

Statcast: 66.7% barrel %, 102.0 exit velocity, 83.3% hard hit %, .970 xwOBA

Best Statcast category: Did not qualify

Worst Statcast category: Did not qualify

Hero/Goat: Goat 1


Overview: It wasn’t the first time a Cardinal rookie had had a disastrous first outing.  It wasn’t the first time a Cardinal rookie had sported an ERA over 50 after his debut.  It wasn’t the first time such a player had given up more home runs than innings pitched.  So maybe Roel Ramirez can look to Mike Mayers for some inspiration.

That said…..that’s about as bad of a game as you are ever going to see for a first time out.  Ramirez, pressed into service because he was on the 40-man and the COVID outbreak had created a strong need for pitching, came into the fifth inning of the third game after the quarantine with the Cardinals trailing the White Sox 1-0.  He started his major league career auspiciously, striking out could-have-been-a-Cardinal Luis Robert.  That was the only batter he retired–the other out came when Andrew Knizner caught Danny Mendick trying to steal.  Single, single, walk, wild pitch and then….history.  Back (Yoan Moncada) to back (Yasmani Grandal) to back (Jose Abreu) to back (Eloy Jimenez) home runs.  The White Sox lineup is potent but four homers in a row proved that Ramirez didn’t need to be in the bigs.  He was sent back to Springfield and, by the end of the season, was optioned off the 40-man roster.

Outlook: I would assume that Ramirez is still in the organization, having cleared waivers.  It becomes difficult to see how he works his way back to the big leagues.  After all, the Cardinals gave Mayers chance after chance until he developed into a quality reliever.  Granted, there were more 40-man roster issues this year than some past years, but if they felt that Ramirez had a strong possibility of returning they might not have risked him being claimed.  He’s 25, will turn 26 in May next year and it feels unlikely there is much untapped potential.  I’m not saying we won’t see Ramirez again but I’d be really surprised if he showed up in St. Louis.

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