Erasmo Ramirez Scouting Report 9.7.12 - Ch-ch-chaaaan-ges
Came back from AAA looking like a beast

Q.  Is Erasmo in the category "Player you can win your next pennant with?"

A.  SSI liked Erasmo Ramirez quite well yesterday.  It likes him considerably better today, I'll tell ya that.

G-Money gave a watch bulletin on Erasmo in fall of 2011, and that despite watching Erasmo get shelled.  Gotta give it up for a cyber-scout who zigs against the zag of nine earnies.  Nothin' we like better than to hear a report that says "cut him" after a shutout, or a report that says "promote him" after a 3rd-inning K.O.

Here's SSI's three-part POTD from February 2012.  Was he Doug Fister, amigos axed?  Dunno, we sez.  The mechanics and command are extra class.  Being five foot two isn't.  Have to check the offspeed game.

SSI had a 5-part scouting report after "The Johan Santana Game" in June.  Yes, it turns out that because he's short, he can ill afford to let anybody time a centered fastball.  But the changeup got 13 swinging strikes on 28 pitches that day (!!) and it was no blinkin' accident.  Throw less than 50% heaters, Erasmo, pitch backwards, and I'm available to serve as your agent.


Q.  Tonight against the A's, three up, three down, 2 strikeouts.  Well, not counting the HBP.  Was he that good?

A.  First pitch was a 93 MPH fastball on the black.  His Blingness effortlessly crushed a screaming line drive that Dustin Ackley caught.

But the second hitter, Brandon Moss, the A's lefty first baseman -- he's slugging .592 against RHP's, 14 homers in 157 AB's.  Erasmo got him down 1-2 and then uncorked a changeup out of a Saw movie.  I replayed it half a dozen times.  The arm action?  Erasmo actually humped up, just like he was reaching back for 97, SNNAAPPPPED that arm and wrist through, the back leg SWINGING up with gusto... and the ball popped a parachute.  Moss' garbage swing was a mile out in front.

You know what, though?  You back up the tape, and the previous two pitches were the same thing.  Changeups with Trevor Hoffman arm action.  So Erasmo tripled up on the change, to a lefty who is absolutely destroying RHP's, and the third change screwed Moss into the ground.

Erasmo throws THAT changeup, he is a plus starter in the American League.  End of story.


Q.  Did he throw any of those 94-95 MPH fastballs *after* showing changeup?

A.  Next hitter, Stephen Drew, he came in with a first-pitch changeup.  Right. Down. the. Pipe.  Gimme called strike, ahead in the count.

Second pitch, whoooom there goes the 95 MPH arm, here comes the -14 MPH changeup, tumbling down out of the zone low and away.  The lefty Drew fans badly.

On 0-2, having shown those two Hoffman changeups, Erasmo simply fired two high fastballs and Drew was helpless.  Easy strikeout.


Erasmo has to set up his fastball with the change.  Only then does his velocity, coming out of a short stride, have any impact.  He cannot challenge with the fastball, but if it is used intelligently, it's a weapon.


Q.  By the way, how was the movement on the change?

A.  The movement misses the point.  It's the arm action and the fact that it's -12, -14 MPH off that hot fastball.

But the movement was .... super great.  The vertical was 0.20 inches relative to vacuum.  That's a dive almost equal to Felix' changeup.  'nuff said?


Q.  How is the pitch ratio?

A.  Last time around, he threw over 70% fastballs, which sent Dr. D screaming into the night.  But!  Tonight he came in and threw a measly 4 fastballs the entire inning. 

Did Erasmo go down to Tacoma and figure out that he is one of those guys who needs to pitch backwards?  If he did, look out.  

If you were to tell me that Erasmo went down to AAA and figured out that he's got a great changeup, that he's gotta be careful throwing a 5-foot-10 fastball, if he GOT that, then ... my own rotation next spring would have three givens.  Erasmo Ramirez got game.

Be a fun September watching him.




I only have a coupla wishes for the offseason as far as outside-the-org adds, and Erasmo is one of my inside-the-org game changers, still.
When he throws FB-FB-FB he's in trouble, unless he's killing it with the change first, as you said. His changeup is a real weapon. When he loses his feel for it in a game he's in trouble, because 94 from a short dude is not that hard to hit - although I do like that he challenges high with it. If you're short you want to work high and inside with the heat, because working low gives a perfect angle to identify the ball.
High and inside with the heat, pull the ripcord on the change, and then slice and dice with the breakers as you get a feel for em. That's what I wanna see Erasmo do consistently. His 10K game that's what he was doing. He's still just a baby (6 months younger than Danny Hultzen) and pitching backwards is a hard thing to pick up, especially if you were just given a 94 MPH fastball when you were doing fine with 89 about 18 months ago. Gotta test drive the Ferrari, doncha know - wrap it around a pole and then you'll figure out that those driving lessons from the Honda still apply.
He's an incredibly smart kid who pitches with his head - he'll get it right in short order. Right now, Erasmo's in my 2013 rotation. If we wanted to sign Grienke as a FA, trade Vargas and Paxton/Walker for a bat (I still think the Royals are a good matchup, for either Gordon or Butler) then we could go Felix / Grienke / Iwakuma / Hultzen / Erasmo, with either Paxton or Walker hanging around in AAA along with Maurer, Beavan and Noesi, in case of injury or other need.
It'd be a pretty right-handed rotation, but I could live with that. Ackley / Guti / Seager / Butler / Montero / Jaso / Saunders / Ryan / Thames isn't a bad lineup either, especially with Zunino in a Hulkified rage in the minors and Carp getting healthy, both of whom could add some pop (as could Franklin or Miller mid-year to help with Ryan at-bats).
It's time to stop messing around. Next year we need to be in the WC hunt all year. It's time. That means the kids need to do their part and we need the right vets to do theirs.
Erasmo's one of the kids I'd feel all right about leaning on. Pennant race in 2013: it's on.


That changeup tonight was Nasty with a capital N. Where was this guy all season?


Or in the minors a bit longer than necessary. Had to get a REALLY good look at Noesi and Beavan, doncha know. They both look the part more than the 5'10ish Ramirez, but only one of those guys has weapons, control and nerve in the same package. Erasmo's 8 pounds of fun in a 4 pound bag. When he really gets the hang of this pitching thing, look out.

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