Tampa Bay Rays Key Players for the 2017 Season
Erasmo Ramirez – Reliever
Last year, Andrew Miller changed the face of relief pitching during the postseason. As we head into 2017, more teams are looking for a fireman of their own.
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However, before Miller was successful in that role for the Indians, the Tampa Bay Rays had already attempted to resurrect the fireman. Erasmo Ramirez was given that role last season, as he would come into the game regardless of the situation to quell any possible rallies.
He ended up pitching in virtually every role for Tampa Bay, even making a start and saving two games. In his 90.2 innings, Ramirez had a 3.77 ERA and a 1.279 WHiP, striking out 63 batters. He may not have been a dominant force, but he was still a solid pitcher, giving the Rays the type of quality relief they needed.
Heading into the 2017 campaign, Ramirez may need to fill that same sort of role. The Rays do not really have anyone who could perform as a fireman, leaving him as the best possible option. With his ability to pitch multiple innings, and extreme ground ball rate, Ramirez could be the key piece of the bullpen.
Erasmo Ramirez may not attract much attention, but he will be a vital bridge to the back of the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen. While he may not be Andrew Miller, he could fill that same sort of role.