Neil Ramirez’s Struggles Continue

One of the great stories of the 2011 season was Neil Ramirez's rise from slow-developing pitcher to top prospect. Ramirez jumped from high Class A to Triple-A for a spot start and pitched so well that he got to spend most of the season at the higher level.

Ramirez won't remember 2012 so fondly. He pitched poorly enough in a return to Round Rock that he was demoted back to Double-A Frisco recently. Then he was limited to roughly 60 pitches in two recent starts because of shoulder fatigue. The pitch limit wasn't an issue on Tuesday, general ineffectiveness was. Ramirez gave up six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out one. In a rough season for Ramirez this was the third time he's failed to get out of the third.

Ramirez's velocity is down and his control this year has generally not been as sharp was it was in 2011, so there are some explanations for his struggles. But for a pitcher who has battled some injury issues in the past, it's not necessarily a comforting explanation.

Ramirez's struggles masked what was another nice day for the Frisco lineup. First baseman/third baseman Mike Olt hit his 23rd home run of the season and Jurickson Profar doubled. Profar started the game at second while normal second baseman Leury Garcia got a chance to start at shortstop, but Profar had to return to his normal spot after Garcia left the game with a foot injury after being hit by a pitch.