The LA Angels have had a number of pitchers on the disabled list due to arm injuries. Many of them have started to return to health. J.C. Ramirez is next in line.
When the LA Angels claimed pitcher J.C. Ramirez off the waiver wire in 2016 they were hoping he might provide some stability in their ailing bullpen at the time. Ramirez pitched very well and then in 2017 he was converted to a starter and he performed admirably.
Then 2018 rolled around and Ramirez struggled during the Spring and then continued to have problems in his first two starts of the season. He had pain in his elbow and was trying to work through it, but it didn’t seem to be getting any better.
An MRI was done and it was determined that Ramirez had a partially torn UCL in his right elbow and needed surgery. Fast-forward to 2019 and Ramirez is almost back to being ready to pitch again in the majors.
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On Wednesday evening Ramirez took a big step forward as he made his second rehab start, this one for Triple-A Salt City. He threw 69 pitches with 46 of them being strikes. He made it through 4.1 innings giving up three his and three runs walking three and striking out two.
This was Ramirez second rehab outing as he started a game for Single-A Inland Empire where Ramirez pitched 1.2 innings giving up two hits and three runs with two walks and one strikeout. Ramirez only through 35 pitches in that start when he was scheduled to throw 60, so his second rehab start was a big improvement.
Ramirez may make one more rehab start before returning to the majors which will be some time early next week. If all goes well Ramirez could return when the Angels return to the road next weekend.
More information on J.C. Ramirez’s second rehab start thanks to Steve Klauke the Salt Lake City Bees radio broadcaster.
The question will be is where will Ramirez fit in to the Angels pitching staff. Ramirez could be added to the back end of the bullpen which is already pretty deep and will be even deeper when Keynan Middleton returns at the end of the month (projected).
The Angels could also add Ramirez into the starting rotation and bump either Matt Harvey or Trevor Cahill out of the rotation. This will be something manager Brad Ausmus and the Angels front office will have to decide on when the time comes.
Either way it will be good to have J.C. Ramirez and his mid-to-high 90’s fastball back in the fold. Stay tuned.