This will be the second consecutive relief appearance for Ramirez, who was thought to be in the thick of the race for the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation. Although the rotation has not been announced, it would be logical to think that Ramirez is not going to be a part of it at this point.
“I was working all Spring Training as a starter, so my mind right now is like a starter. But back to the bullpen sounds fine,” Ramirez told Mariners.com. “But I don’t know. Last year they had me, like, starter, reliever, starter, reliever and more reliever the last month. This year I was starting from the time I got here, so my mind is like a starter right now.”
The 22-year-old Ramirez made the roster out of spring training last year and pitched primarily in relief before being sent down to the minor leagues. When he was recalled later in the year, Ramirez was in the starting rotation.
In total Ramirez made 16 appearances, eight of those being starts, posting an overall ERA of 3.36 in 59 innings pitched. Ramirez has had an average spring, posting a 3.86 ERA in five appearances (two starts), totaling 14 innings pitched.
The battle for the fifth rotation spot has been narrowed down to rookie Brandon Maurer, veteran Jeremy Bonderman and Blake Beavan, who has struggled recently. Going into the spring I would’ve thought Ramirez would have been in the rotation and that door is not closed, but for now Ramirez will come out of the bullpen, a role that suits him well.