After finishing the 2022 season strong, righty Yohan Ramirez could be an underrated bullpen arm for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023
During the 2022 season the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen was a bit of a revolving door for much of the season. Between the minor leagues, waiver claims, and trades, bullpen arms came and went throughout the season.
One arm that came along via trade was Yohan Ramirez. On July 8th of last season the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for cash considerations. This came after he was designated for assignment five days prior by the Guardians.
Throughout his MLB career Ramirez has been a pitcher with plus stuff. However, he had struggle to put it all together. These inconsistencies is what led to him struggling to catch on full-time in a major league bullpen.
Ramirez also pitched for the Seattle Mariners last season. He pitched 37.1 innings in 30 games pitched between his three clubs. All told, he posted a 4.58 ERA, 4.88 FIP, 12.0% walk rate, and a 19.2% strikeout rate. He did a good job limiting the long ball, posting a 0.96 HR/9.
When Ramirez was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates he was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Ramirez made his Pirate debut on August 4th and went on to put together the best stretch of his MLB career.
Ramirez pitched 27.0 innings with the Pirates, posting a 3.67 ERA and a 3.82 FIP. He allowed just one home run (0.33 HR/9), while posting an 11.2% walk rate and striking out 18.1% of batters faced.
After allowing 5 earned runs in his first five outings with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ramirez would really start to put things together and finish the season strong. In his final 17 outings of the season he pitched 22.0 innings, posting a 2.45 ERA and a 3.57 FIP. This included a 10.0% walk rate and a 20.0% strikeout rate. This performance led to Derek Shelton starting to use Ramirez in high-leverage situations late in the season as well.
The Pirate bullpen will have plenty of questions entering the 2023 season. This alone would create opportunity for Ramirez. After pitching well for the Pirates and finishing the 2022 season strong, he can become an underrated member of the team’s bullpen if he is able to continue to build on how he pitched down the stretch this past season.