Pittsburgh Pirates: Yohan Ramirez Finished the Season Strong


Down the stretch, Yohan Ramirez flew under the radar in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen as he finished the 2022 season strong

On July 8th, the Pittsburgh Pirates swung a very minor trade. In this trade, the Pirates sent cash considerations to the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Yohan Ramirez.

Early on with the Pittsburgh Pirates the righty struggled. However, as the season went on Ramirez would begin to improve. This led to Ramirez pitching in higher-leverage situations for the Pirates as he flew under the radar on his way to a strong finish to the season.

Overall, Ramirez finished the season with a 4.58 ERA and a 4.88 FIP in a career-high 37.1 innings pitched. He finished the season with a 12.0% walk rate and just a 19.2% strikeout rate, but limited home runs to a 0.96 HR/9 clip.

These overall results did not tell the whole story for Ramirez’s 2022 season, though.

From August 9th through the end of the season, Ramirez pitched 24 innings for the Pirates. In these 24 innings pitched Ramirez allowed 18 hits, a home run, 10.9% walk rate and an 18.8% strikeout rate. This led to Ramirez posting a 3.38 ERA and a 3.70 FIP in these 24 innings pitched.

As Ramirez pitched well down the stretch it was clear he started to earn the trust of Pirate manager Derek Shelton. Ramirez started to take the ball in high-leverage situations, and found success while doing so.

During this strong stretch opposing batters had a barrel rate of just 4.3% against Ramirez, which is 2% below the league average for barrel rate. He induced ground balls at a very strong 58.2% and allowed hard contact at just a 24.6% rate. It should go without saying that limiting hard contact and barrel rate while keeping the ball on the ground is a recipe for success for pitchers.

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At one point it appeared that Ramirez would not survive the offseason on the Pirate 40-man roster. After a strong finish to the season, it now appears that he could enter spring training as a frontrunner to win bullpen job. If Ramirez can pitch throughout the 2023 season anywhere near the way he did down the stretch in 2022, he could become a key part of the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates.