If you only had the second half of the Rays 2015 campaign, how would this team look?
Or better yet, consider the question that led me to write this: Where would you place Erasmo Ramirez in the major league rotation?
Erasmo Ramirez looks like the second best pitcher on the Rays.
I know what you might be thinking, though. Half a season is not enough context, some of these guys played in only nine games, Matt Andriese shouldn't be on the list, Nate Karns had an early hook, there's lots to disagree with but that over complicates this exercise.
But if you'd like some added context, here you go: Your required dose of BABIP so y'all can make some excuses about circumstance, an ERA-FIP equation to show who over or under performed in light of their independent contributions, some scaling against the league, and Ian's go-to SIERA.
Erasmo Ramirez still shines.
I can appreciate the desire to pencil him out of your plans. Archer and Odorizzi are young and exciting, Blake Snell and Nathan Karns have all the promise in the world, the trio of Smyly, Moore, and eventually Cobb could light the world on fire. But who is good right now?
Let's reset the arguement: Who would have pitched in October if the Rays were in the playoffs? Archer is one, Smyly is another, and in a five game series you'd be hard pressed to choose between Erasmo and Odorizzi for the third.
There are some edges for Odorizzi: while he had a problem with some longballs in the second half his K:BB was a little stronger (14.6% vs 13.4%), as was his AVG against (.242 vs .256). However, the athleticism of Odorizzi tempts me to say he'd be incredible out of the October 'pen. So I'd still probably start Erasmo in that third game, but it depends on the nuances of each player.
Either way, Erasmo is a good pitcher, and the Rays are lucky to have him.
Stop trying to get rid of him, Super-Two be damned.