Players In Lee Deal Making Progress

Phillies still like what they received for the southpaw





PHILADELPHIA—In talking about the trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners in Dec. 2009, Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said, "We're going to get big league players out of that deal."

Righthander J.C. Ramirez, who along with righty Phillippe Aumont and outfielder Tyson Gillies came to the Phillies from Seattle in that deal, has been a major eye-opener this season and is firmly on a prospect's track. Like Aumont, Ramirez has pitched well at Double-A Reading. Gillies remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

"From a scouting standpoint, Ramirez was as big a part of that deal as anyone," LaMar said.

A 22-year-old from Nicaragua, Ramirez has a legitimate power arm.

"He throws easy at 94-95 (mph)," LaMar said. "His secondary stuff is still a work in progress. The development of his secondary stuff will determine how good he is going to be. But he's got a great arm and he's improved his mechanics, fastball command and mound presence."

Ramirez's lagging secondary pitches could be the reason for low strikeout totals—just 19 in his first 48 innings. But he allowed just 11 walks and 37 hits over that span in his first eight starts of the season. He was 5-3, 3.00 in those starts.

Ramirez, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, pitched through a hip injury most of 2010 and was 7-7, 4.82 in 24 starts in high Class A and Double-A. Offseason surgery fixed the injury and Ramirez felt immediate benefits, going 4-0, 1.03 in April to earn organization pitcher of the month honors.

PHIL-UPS

• Being waived off the 40-man roster hasn't stopped Matt Rizzotti from producing. He hit .344/.415/.603 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in his first 151 at-bats with Double-A Reading.

• Righthander Jonathan Pettibone, a third-round pick in 2008, had a 1.98 ERA in his first nine starts (55 innings) at high Class A Clearwater.