Roel Ramirez is back with the St. Louis Cardinals and while he likely won’t have a big impact, he does own one major-league record.
Roel Ramirez is back. Roel Ramirez is unchanged. Roel Ramirez is unlikely to have a significant major-league career, but he does have sole possession of a major league record.
Ramirez made his major league debut on Aug. 16, 2020. He was one of the many players the St. Louis Cardinals brought up to help fill out their roster after a COVID-19 outbreak interrupted last year’s campaign for 2-1/2 weeks.
To say Ramirez’s first major league appearance was underwhelming would be an understatement. A strikeout of the first batter was a nice start, but two singles and a walk followed before things really got out of hand.
Yoan Moncada stroked a three-run homer, followed in quick succession by long balls off the bats of Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu, and Eloy Jimenez. This home run barrage was only the 10th time ever four consecutive teammates knocked balls over the fence and the first time they all came against the same pitcher.
Ramirez existed having allowed six runs in 0.2 innings (a caught stealing accounted for the second out), yielding an 81.00 ERA. He was optioned back to the minors the next day and did not reappear with St. Louis the rest of the season.
Someone looking for a glimmer of hope could point to Ramirez’s 13.5 K/9, though counterarguments quickly can be made that his matching 13.5 BB/9, 54.0 HR/9, and ERA+ of 8 dimmed that hope substantially.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ramirez returned to a major-league mound, inheriting a 7-1 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks at the start of the eighth inning. He was greeted by Christian Walker single before walking two of the next three batters.
Replaced by Ryan Helsley, who also had trouble finding the plate, Ramirez saw all three batters he put on base score, resulting in an identical 81.00 ERA as he recorded in his sole appearance last season.
Is Ramirez jinxed, doomed to go down in history as the owner of one of the worst ERAs in the annals of baseball? Or will he get another chance, an opportunity to lend truth to the concept of “third time’s charm.”
Time will tell, and you have to hope he has nowhere to go but up. But the fact that his ERA did not go down Wednesday does not bode well for his long-term prospects.