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Rays Exercise Carl Crawford's Option; Decline Gregg Zaun and Brian Shouse's; Claim Ramon A. Ramirez Off Waivers from Reds

Nothing unexpected on the options part. Although it will be interesting to see if they attempt to re-sign Zaun.


Ramirez is a 27-year-old righty with the locks of Lincecum from the Cincinnati organization and 39.3 career innings in the Majors. That's a pretty small sample size to draw from, but during his time he posted a 4.6 FIP and 5.1 tRA. His home run per fly ball percentage is awfully high for a reliever (just over 11%) but those things fluctuate so much on a year-to-year basis for a reliever it's hard to know whether it will be an issue heading forward. He's done some starting and pen work throughout his career.

His fastball is the pitch he uses the most and it sits around 90 miles per hour. He backs that up with a change-up that sits seven-to-eight clicks lower and also has a slider. Again, a small sample to work with, but he showed a good tendency to miss bats with a 76.5 Contact% (average is about 81%) and avoid walks. His strikeout totals before hitting Triple-A were ridiculous, but in 127.3 innings as a starter/reliever, his Triple-A K/9 dropped to 5.51 this year.

Interestingly, he's thrown a little over 3,200 pitches at Triple-A since 2007 and his swinging strike rates were pretty impressive. Assuming this guy's change is legitimate - and it appears so - this could be more than simply fooling less talented batters, but as mentioned his whiff rates with the Reds was pretty solid too. He has one option year remaining and will probably shuffle between Durham and Tampa at least a time or two throughout the season.

His middle name begins with an A. So there's that.

Whiff rates from last year with the pitch totals thrown in (SSS):

Pitch Thrown Whiffs Whiff%
CH 59 13 22
FF 116 8 6.9
SL 5 1 20


And now for his 2008 numbers (mostly as a starter), SSS again:

Pitch Thrown Whiffs Whiff%
CH 187 26 13.9
FA 208 14 6.73
SL 18 2 11.1


That change might be something, huh?