Before we get started, I just want to quickly introduce myself. I'm Jesse and I've been a Yankee fan for as long as I can remember. Like most of you, I thoroughly enjoy following this team on a daily basis up and down the organization. Perhaps some of you may know me from Bleeding Yankee Blue, a Yankee blog, of course. A blog in which I don't write for anymore due to a variety of reasons. You may have also stumbled across me on twitter (@HIROKnRoll). If not, don't worry, you're not missing too much. However, I want to warn you that from time-to-time I may post some random Yankee thoughts and opinions here. Some you'll agree with and some you'll disagree with, but that's life. I haven't really written anything involving the Yankees since the calender flipped to 2013, so I felt this would be a decent place to do some Yankee-related venting. I created my account on here a day or two ago so I still need to update my profile and whatnot. Anyway, enough with the small talk. Here are my thoughts on the recent Jose Ramirez promotion to Triple-A.
Minor league promotions are fun. Minor league promotions are especially fun when said minor leaguers are players you’ve followed for years and have developed a loving towards. For me, that can be said about Jose Ramirez. The 23-year-old Dominican right-hander got promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre about a week-and-a-half ago, and while this may look exciting on the surface, it left some, including myself, feeling a little puzzled.
Jose Ramirez finished 2012 on a high note by dominating the Florida State League in his final 11 starts. He pitched to a 2.22 ERA and 2.70 FIP in those starts while holding opposing batters to a .583 OPS against. Following an up-and-down Spring Training, Ramirez was held back in Tampa due to fatigue before joining the Trenton Thunder rotation. After coming off the disabled list, Ramirez pitched pretty well, but wasn’t great. In 9 Double-A starts, Ramirez pitched to a 2.76 ERA and 4.26 FIP before being aggressively promoted to Triple-A. In 2 starts for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Ramirez has gone 6.1 innings while posting a 7.11 ERA and 5.25 FIP. Though two starts is a very small sample, it sure looks like, at least so far, the Yankees jumped the gun with Ramirez.
There are a few reasons as to why the Yankees could have promoted Ramirez earlier than expected. For one, they could have liked the results they were getting from him with the Thunder; a 2.76 ERA is nothing to sneeze at. However, a 4.22 FIP is less-than-stellar. His strikeout (10.6 K/9) and walk (3.2 BB/9) numbers were very solid, but the home runs (1.5 HR/9) were a bit of a problem. Maybe they just really liked the strikeout and walk numbers while believing the abundant amount of homers were just a small sample.
The Yankees could have also promoted Ramirez early because there’s a real chance the big league team will need to replace 3 starters (Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes) for 2014. By being promoted to Triple-A this quickly, it will give Ramirez more of an opportunity to face advanced hitters, and if he succeeds, he could vie for one of those 3 possible rotation openings during next year’s Spring Training.
If the latter reason is part of the Yankees’ thought process, they are sure taking a risk. If Ramirez continues to struggle in Triple-A, and then gets demoted back down to Double-A, it sure won't help his confidence going forward, but who really knows. Heck, I’m sure after writing this he’ll run off a crazy 10-start stretch of dominance or what have you and we’ll all think the Yankees’ decision to promote him was a good one. Either way, I’m rooting real hard for Ramirez to succeed, and if he does so we could see him in the Bronx earlier than we all originally expected.