LA Angels get a pleasant surprise from JC Ramirez

Sep 28, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher JC Ramirez (66) shakes hands with catcher Jett Bandy (13) after a save in the ninth inning of the game against the against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Angels won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher JC Ramirez (66) shakes hands with catcher Jett Bandy (13) after a save in the ninth inning of the game against the against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Angels won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the LA Angels claimed JC Ramirez off the waiver wire they weren’t sure what to expect.  On one hand he had a live arm capable of throwing close to 100 miles per hour.  However, his control and effectiveness were the questions?

The LA Angels bullpen was decimated by injuries and also ineffectiveness due to be overworked.  Manager Mike Scioscia tried many different combinations as well as digging into Triple-A in hopes of finding a cure for the bullpen blues. Nothing seemed to work.  In late June the Angels saw a hard throwing righty who had just been released by the Cincinnati Reds named JC Ramirez.

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Despite Ramirez’s inconsistency the Angels were desperate so they took a chance on Ramirez and brought him up to the Majors and plugged him in as a 6th-7th inning guy.  After a couple of shaky outings in his first two appearances, Ramirez seemed to find a comfort zone in Anaheim. In the month of July he appeared in 15 games and pitched 15 innings, only allowing two runs and sporting a sparkling 1.20 ERA.

Ramirez’s biggest issue in his past was control and he seemed to harness that as he only walked three batters while striking out 10 and opponents hit only .189 against Ramirez in July.  Ramirez also sported a 0.87 WHIP. In August Ramirez had a couple of tough outings during the Angels 11-game slide, but he bounced back in the second half of the month going 8.1 innings allowing only one run as he took over as the team set-up man when Cam Bedrosian went on the DL.

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In September Ramirez stayed hot even converting a save opportunity against Oakland on September 28th which guaranteed the Angels of not finishing in the AL West cellar.  In his final 22.1 innings pitched Ramirez gave up only four earned runs in 19 appearances which was good for an ERA of 1.61.  With all of the injuries the Angels suffered in the bullpen (Bedrosian and Huston Street) as well as the trades of Joe Smith and Fernando Salas, Ramirez provided stability for the beleaguered bullpen.

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Overall with the Angels, Ramirez finished with a 2.91 ERA in 43 games with a 1.187 WHIP. His fastball topped out at 98-100 MPH throughout his time with the Angels and Ramirez filled the 7th and 8th inning role very well.  Ramirez is a player the Angels should definitely consider keeping for their 2017 bullpen.  He will be a low-cost power-arm that could pay big dividends for years to come for the Angels.

Grade: A –