Royals Bolster Pen With Ramirez

The Deal
The Rockies had been shopping 26-year-old righthander Ramon Ramirez this spring as they attempted to make room for lefty specialist Micah Bowie. They found a taker Wednesday, sending Ramirez to the Royals for a player to be named.

The acquisition of Ramirez allowed the Royals to boot control-challenged lefthander Jorge de la Rosa off the 40-man roster.

The Rockies ultimately settled on de la Rosa as the player to be named after he made strong four starts for Triple-A Omaha. In 22 innings, the Mexican lefty struck out 23, walked seven and did not allow a home run. (April 30)

The Big Leaguers
Released by the Rangers after one season as an outfielder in the Dominican Summer League in 1997, Ramirez signed with the Hiroshima Carp as a pitcher in 2002 but pitched just three innings in the Japanese majors. After he impressed Yankees scouts in winter ball, they outbid the Phillies by purchasing his rights from the Carp for $350,000. The Rockies picked him in their trade of Shawn Chacon to the Yankees at the 2005 trade deadline. At his best, Ramirez pitches at 92-94 mph with his fastball and complements it with a tilting slider and a changeup. Though he carries with him the stigma of being a short righthander (he’s listed at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds), Ramirez found big league success in 2006 when he was perhaps Colorado’s finest rookie performer. He appeared in 61 games, going 3-4, 3.46 with 61 strikeouts and 27 walks in 68 innings. Ramirez crashed back to earth in 2007, posting an 8.31 ERA in 17 innings of work as he pitched through a strain near his right elbow. He was fine for Triple-A Colorado Springs, though, going 4-0, 2.28 with a 35-16 K-BB ratio in 28 innings last season.
Quick Take
Feeling better this spring, Ramirez reportedly can throw his breaking ball without pain, making him a worthwhile gamble for the Royals.

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