Noe Ramirez joined the LA Angels late in 2017. He only pitched for 8.1 innings for them. However, no one should be surprised if he ends up their best reliever in 2018.
The bullpen was a strength for the LA Angels in 2017. However, leaders of the late innings such as Yusmeiro Petit and Bud Norris have new teams this season. While Blake Parker returns to prove his breakout season wasn’t a fluke, the bullpen will look a lot different. Young guys like Keynan Middleton and Cam Bedrosian will have to step up.
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One man to watch out for is Noe Ramirez.
When the Halos claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox last season, Ramirez looked like nothing more than a depth piece for a strong bullpen. While he was used sparingly, he showed how solid he can be for the Halos.
In only ten appearances (8.1 innings), the California State University of Fullerton alum allowing only two earned runs while striking out 10 batters. This was a great sign for his development, as his MLB ERA was 4.99 before his move to Anaheim.
Ramirez has a very similar pitching style as Petit. They are both very good at striking out opposing batters, and rarely allow home runs (Ramirez allowed zero for the Angels last year). They both use their finesse well, making them well suited for a role to strand inherited runners. With Petit gone, it would not be surprising to see Ramirez fill his void throughout the 2018 season.
While he showed promise last year, it would be unfair for fans to expect the same production from that ten game stretch over the course of the entire season from Ramirez. General manager Billy Eppler has a good track record of finding talent on the waivers (Petit, Parker, Norris), and Ramirez might just his next diamond in the rough.