The last time Roel Ramirez was on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals, he made history in a bad way. Now he gets a chance to bury that.
One of the not-so-fun memories from the 2020 season was the debut of poor Roel Ramirez. Right after the St. Louis Cardinals returned to play from their COVID-19 stoppage, they were forced to bring up a ton of pitchers to fill spots on the 26-man roster. Ramirez, one of the players who the team got in the Tommy Pham trade, was brought up.
Sadly for Ramirez, his debut in the bigs was historic in a bad way. On August 16 of last season Ramirez came into the fifth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox with the Cardinals already down one run. 30 pitches later, the White Sox had scored six runs and Ramirez got just two outs before he was lifted from the game.
In historic fashion, the White Sox hit four straight home runs making Ramirez the first pitcher ever to give up four straight dingers in his MLB debut. The Cardinals lost that game, and before Ramirez had a chance to get back on the mound, he was optioned off the roster and didn’t return before the end of the season.
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Now 26, Ramirez will have his chance to put his only appearance behind him as the righty was called back up to St. Louis on Monday. At AAA this year, Ramirez hasn’t been great at first glance with a 4.67 ERA over 27.0 total innings. His per-nine’s don’t look too bad though, as he’s only walking 2.7 batters per nine, and has given up 0.7 homers per nine while striking out 9.0 batters per nine. The only spot where Ramirez needs to improve is his 8.0 hits per nine.
Presumably, Ramirez is taking over for Jake Woodford as the long reliever out of the pen, as many of his MiLB appearances have been more than one inning.
Ramirez’s callup is part of the perpetual roster churn that the Cardinals have tried to use to find the right mix of players to succeed at the MLB level. In the spirit of that, there is really no reason for Ramirez not to get another look, as most of the options ahead of him on the organizational depth chart have struggled in their apperances with the Cardinals.
This is the perfect time for Ramirez to get a second chance and have the opportunity to not only put history behind him, but to carve himself a role with the big club for the immediate future. The Cardinals have nothing to lose giving him some innings.