LA Angels: Noe Ramirez will be a key reliever in 2019
By Vincent Page
In 2018, the LA Angels saw plenty of highs and plenty of lows for Noe Ramirez. However, if they can figure out their past mistakes, Ramirez can be an extremely valuable piece this season.
Last year, the LA Angels had an(other) injury epidemic throughout their rotation and bullpen. While Noe Ramirez was able to avoid any significant injuries, he was a victim of being overworked as the season progressed.
Ramirez started the season as a very reliable option for Mike Scioscia to turn to, no matter what the situation was. His ERA sat at 3.34 through May, and his overall performance was stellar. But, as the season progressed, it became apparent he was fatigued after having his number called too consistently.
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As the season wore on, Ramirez’s numbers across the board dropped. His strikeout rate lowered and his walks went up, as did his home runs as he allowed 13 from June through August, and only two the rest of the season. The long ball carries better in the summer for everyone, but such drastic changes for Ramirez cannot be blamed solely on the weather.
And while fatigue was an issue last season, that blame is not entirely on the coaching staff. Obviously they should know when to use a pitcher and how often, but some of the fault is Noe’s as well. As a reliever, he has to prepared for a long season and consistent use, especially when he has the talent to be a top option in a bullpen.
With the signing of Cody Allen and eventual return of Keynan Middleton, one can assume those two players will occupy the eighth and ninth innings for the Angels. That leaves Noe Ramirez as the top option for the rest of the game. He showed last season he can be a Swiss Army knife out of the bullpen, whether it be stranding runners, pitching multiple innings, or just going in to face one batter.
Ramirez can be a key piece in 2019. He needs to be well prepared for a large workload, but he also needs to be used wisely by the Angels. If both of those things happen, Noe Ramirez can be a big part of the Angels’ quest for their first playoff berth since 2014.