PHOENIX—Considering the dearth of lefthanded pitchers in the organization, the Brewers decided to make one from scratch.
When Nick Ramirez took a step back offensively last season as a first baseman at Double-A Biloxi, the Brewers suggested that he would have a better chance to advance as a pitcher. It wasn't a crazy notion because Ramirez also served as the closer at Cal State Fullerton before Milwaukee made him a fourth-round pick in 2011.
“They mentioned it in July and I started throwing bullpens, getting back into it," said Ramirez, 27. “When I first started, I looked like an infielder throwing off the mound. I hadn't done it in five years.
“I wasn't using my lower half. I wasn't using my body. It was just a slow progression to get back in shape and let my arm bounce back and all that stuff."