Desperate LA Angels bring back former All-Star on Minor League deal for bullpen

Sep 26, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA;  AJ Ramos, LA Angels
Sep 26, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; AJ Ramos, LA Angels / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

LA Angels reliever AJ Ramos was brought back to the team in free agency via a Minor League deal, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Morosi reported that this contract includes an invitation to Big League spring training for the Angels.

Ramos was injured for almost all of last year, but he came back for the end of the season. Pitching in four games at the end of the year, he was lights out. He didn't give up a single run in 4.2 IP, and had a superb 0.429 WHIP. He did not allow a single hit.

If Ramos wants to make the Big League Opening Day roster, he'll need to refine his command, however, as he did post a 3.9 walks per nine innings rate in 2021. Durability is going to be key for Ramos no matter what, as that's been the force holding him back these past few years.

LA Angels reliever AJ Ramos has only pitched 27 innings in the last four seasons.

Re-signed LA Angel AJ Ramos pitched just 19.2 innings in 2018, missed all of 2019, and pitched just 2.2 in 2020. He looks to get back to the pitcher he was in Miami, where he pitched the first five years of his career and part of a sixth. He was an All-Star in his last full season with them (2016).

In Miami, Ramos recorded a 2.78 ERA and a 139 ERA+. He struck out 10.4 batters per nine and allowed just 0.5 homers per nine frames. He only allowed 6.3 hits per nine innings. His stint with the Angels has so far indicated that he's getting back on track, but the fact that he still hasn't pitched much over the last four years along with the fact that he wasn't signed to a big-league deal proves that he still isn't there just yet.

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Angels Pitching Coach Matt Wise will have a talented guy to work with in Ramos this spring, but one that does need some fine tuning as far as who he is as a durable and consistently effective staple in this bullpen.