State of the Erasmo
Whups Toronto's keisters with his "B" game


Q.  Erasmo had his B game going?  Why do you say?

A.  Dead legs or something; he was yaaaaaannnkkkking his head and lead shoulder around, muscling the fastball and he jerked the fastball way left on at least eight occasions.  It actually cost him velocity.  They didn't have F/X for some reason, but on the pitches he yanked, his velo was down to 92 or so.

This cost him $9,000 worth of command.  He centered so many fastballs, the Blue Jays begged for one on the black.  It was ridick, dude.

He also threw a crazy number of strikes, crazy way too many ... at one point he had 21 strikes and 3 balls, 32 strikes and 6 balls, 44 strikes and 10 balls... look.  Strikes are fine but if you do that, it is precisely as if every pitch is in a 2-0 count.  That's the problem with a 2-0 count, right?  The hitter knows a strike is coming?

Take the above two facts and blend them.  What do you get?  A recipe for nine earnies.


Q.  Did Erasmo in fact give up 9 earnies?

A.  His line was:  7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6K.  The kind of line you'd hope for from Cliff Lee or Jered Weaver, back when you were playing AOL fantasy baseball and you were matched against your rival.

He had an excellent stat line, but don't kid yourself.  The Jays had 10 fly balls vs. 1 groundout at one point, along with six hits, and several of those fly balls tore the OF's gloves off.  He was pitching with his "B" game.


Q.  How do you keep the ball in the park, against that team, battling your mechanics?

A.  It really was a testament to Erasmo's glorious changeup ... and tonight, near-glorious slider.  He was able to fill the strike zone with a blizzard of centered pitches and the Jays couldn't do any more with him than they did.  Imagine when he commanded his fastball.  Imagine when he expanded the strike zone and got some swings on pitches OOZ.  

I mean, how do you get a swing on OOZ, when nothing you throw is ever OOZ?

Hold it:  Fangraphs does give 14.4% swinging strikes.  Don't know where they got that.  Anyway, that brings his SwStr% up to 10.8% on the season ... same as Roy Halladay, Chris Sale, and Clayton Kershaw.  Um, yeah, Erasmo Ramirez has a changeup.


Q.  Near-glorious slider, you say?

A.  There was a cute little bit of poise during the game.  Erasmo showed fastball grip in the mitt, looked back at the runner, and then juuuuust before starting forward, shifted the grip to slider.  No way in the world the runner can bend over at the waist in time to tip the hitter.

It's unusual for a pitcher to throw a slider with changeup arm action, but Erasmo was doing that tonight.  It in effect gave him two 82-84 MPH changeups - one that broke right, and one that broke left.  He got plenty of swingthroughs with both.

It was weird to see Ramirez struggle with his timing, to get so far out in front with his lead shoulder.  Like watching Greg Maddux slip and fall down on the mound or something.  But nice to see the magnitude of his change-speed game in canceling even that.


Q.  Has anything changed since AAA?

A.  On the postgame, he said his big takeaway was .... "once you release the ball, you can't control anything then.  If they get a hit, just resume the battle with the next hitter."

He took his own advice a bit literally, pummeling the strike zone with 44/54 strikes and so forth.  But the kid's a gamer.


Q.  Looking good for 2013?

A.  His changeup is a big league weapon.  He's got the makeup.  He's got tremendous mechanics.  Zduriencik knows who he is; has known, since he moved Erasmo up in front of the Big Three.

Slider could come around too, like G sez, and then what.  Then it's like Kyle Seager:  that's resolved, so what's up next.




Without it, Erasmo has no real B game - his outcomes are predicated on location and change-speed. Which will get him through - I mean, it gets Beavan through, and Erasmo has struck out more guys (with fewer hits) than Beavan in the minors, to a significant degree. And his miniscule walks match the aircraft carrier's.
But Erasmo with a biting slider will let him go berzerk in true Cliff Lee style. I suggested a forkball or sharp 2-seamer before, but his hands are probably too small for the fork. A nice, consistent slider would work fine - something with spin to change eye level would be wonderful.
Loved seeing his B game get him his first win.

Brent's picture

You guys are all way better at analysis than I am, but as I was watching Erasmo throw, something just looked different. The radar gun on the ROOT Sports broadcast would show 94, but I'd swear the pitch had moved sideways. Maybe that was the head yanking and lead shoulder pulling it outside to righties, but it happened again and again. The ball looked like it had a small arc to it, then a bigger move at the end away from a righty.
I saw a LOT of pitches that were pretty close to middle of the plate that they couldn't do anything with. Encarnacion took at least two of them that I was afraid he'd crush clear over the border. Lots of fly balls, so it was good the roof was open. Safeco isn't the only place the balls flies better with the roof closed. If E-Ram is a fly ball pitcher, Safeco is the perfect American League park for him.

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