The LA Angels lost a bevy of starting pitchers to injury last year, which found JC Ramirez in the rotation before his own injury cost him the rest of the season. Now, Ramirez is recovering strong and looking to build on a breakout 2017 season.
JC Ramirez made 24 starts for the LA Angels last year. In those starts he went 9-10 with a 4.11 ERA. He was the team’s best pitcher for a stretch of time, as he owned a 2.67 ERA over five starts in May. If not for a disastrous June in which he allowed 25 runs in six starts, his ERA for the year would have sat at 3.39, which would have placed him as the 15th best pitcher in baseball.
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However, Ramirez finished the year with a UCL injury and has spent the offseason recovering. However, there had been few updates on his progress until recently. After undergoing stem-cell therapy, Ramirez has slowly but surely put himself in a position to be healthy by the time Opening Day comes around.
On February 13th, Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register stated that Ramirez’s bullpen sessions had been extended to 50 pitches. He has thrown ten sessions in total and has seen no setbacks this far in his recovery.
This morning, Fletcher also reported that Ramirez faced live batters for the first time since his injury.
Depending on how his start goes in less than two weeks, Ramirez will likely see another start within the following week. With the Halos transitioning to a six-man rotation, Ramirez will likely be battling for one of the backend spots. He could also see a bullpen role though. In 2016, he dominated out of the bullpen for the Halos with a 2.91 ERA.
Whether Ramirez ends up a starter, a reliever, or both, the 29-year old is looking to follow up his breakout 2017 season with a comeback 2018 campaign.