Roster Recap: Noe Ramirez is Another Reliever

We’re nearing the end of our Roster Recap series here at B-Pro Boston. This is my fourth contribution to this particular series, with Noe Ramirez joining Rajai Davis, Roenis Elias, and Kyle Kendrick on the list of players to whom I’ve turned a critical eye. The most interesting players on the roster were covered here quite early — you don’t want to kick off your offseason series with Rajai Davis’ 18 games, after all — but it means the pickings have become pretty slim. Writing about Mookie Betts is a fun time, because Mookie Betts himself is fun. Writing about Roenis Elias? Well, it still can be, but you have to find the right way to go about it.

I’m writing about Noe Ramirez here, I promise. But first, some fun facts about the ragtag band of journeymen I’ve covered so far. In 2017, players that have been recapped by your’s truly…

  • played in 23 total games
  • pitched 13.1 innings
  • surrendered 14 earned runs
  • scored seven runs
  • allowed three home runs
  • hit zero home runs
  • struck out eight batters
  • were struck out 14 times
  • allowed a batting average of .350
  • batted .242
  • posted a combined WAR of 0.1

I believe it is actually impossible to draw up a four-man group of players on this roster who had less of an overall impact on the franchise than these four. Three of the four are no longer with the organization, after all, and the only one that remains (Elias) is far from guaranteed to make the majors in 2018. The only other pitchers to pitch fewer innings than Kendrick — who paced this group with a whopping 8.2 innings pitched — were Carson Smith (who will contribute this year), Kyle Martin (who is still here, at least as minor league filler), and Mitch Moreland (the starting first baseman). Three hitters recorded fewer plate appearances than Davis: Steve Selsky (who was pretty bad but is still around), Blake Swihart (a post-hype sleeper), and Chase d’Arnaud (who needed one plate appearance to top Davis in fWAR). It’s the perfect storm of both barely playing and playing terribly.

How do you write 35 words for every plate appearance Rajai Davis made this season? How do you make an entire article out of Roenis Elias’ two batters faced? In some ways, these are the best Roster Recaps — it’s like writing with the difficulty set to Very Hard. I have a sense of investment in these guys now; it’s about finding value in the little things. They might be bad at baseball, but they’re great at being my baseball sons.

Or something. I don’t know, it’s 23 games, man!

Let’s talk about Noe Ramirez, or something.

What Went Right:

Not much. Ramirez’s best performance of the season came after being claimed by the Angels, where he posted a 2.16 ERA and struck out 32% of the batters he faced… in 8.1 innings pitched. As a minor leaguer, Ramirez was fine; a 3.51 ERA and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings is pretty okay, but it’s nothing spectacular. I guess it sucks a little bit to lose a very cheap reliever with a good minor league track record under team control through 2023, but there was really nothing about Noe Ramirez’s 2017 that the Red Sox will miss.

What Went Wrong:

The great irony of me recapping Noe Ramirez is that Ramirez was waived in August to make room for one of my previous recaps: Roenis Elias. When you’re waived for the guy who faced two major league batters all season, you probably had a rough year.

Ramirez is basically just a Quad-A reliever, which is probably the least valuable kind of Quad-A player. He pitched hundreds of innings for Boston’s farm system and had a fairly strong track record, but any time he came up to the big show, he got shelled. Interestingly, each of his three major league stints (2015, 2016, and 2017) lasted exactly 13 innings. This was certainly the best one, but it still came with a FIP north of 4.00. It’s a shame that a long-time organizational guy like Ramirez didn’t stick with the major league squad, but considering he’s now 28 years old,  it’s not much of a loss.

What to Expect:

Well, Noe Ramirez is an Angel now, so for the Red Sox… nothing. Maybe he finally sticks around in Los Angeles and contributes in some kind of middle relief role, but more likely, I’d expect 60 innings in Triple-A with a respectable ERA and some strikeouts. Not great, not terrible, just fine. That should be the subtitle for all these recaps, honestly.

Photo by Kelley L Cox — USA TODAY Sports

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