Cesar Ramos Steps In To Rays Rotation, Looks To Continue Momentum
It is often said of major league starting rotations that one guy feeds off the other. When the chain of good starts is broken up the other four starters work even harder to pick that starter up. When the Rays rotation is going well this cyclical process can carry over for an extended period of time and has led them to much of their success over the past six seasons.
This afternoon Cesar Ramos gets his opportunity to take a spot in the starting rotation as he starts against the Cincinnati Reds. This spring he was stretched out and battled to the end for the fifth starters job ultimately losing out to Jake Odorizzi. Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard re-signed with the Rays and will be in uniform for today’s game and will be available out of the bullpen. For Ramos, a good start today will most likely result in his opportunity to stick in the rotation.
He will be joining a rotation that is right in the middle of one of those streaks where everyone is picking each other up. Over their last seven games a Rays starting pitcher has gone at least seven scoreless innings – four times – Chris Archer against the Royals, David Price against the Reds, and Alex Cobb against the Rangers and Reds.
Ramos will not be able to match the seven inning feat as Joe Maddon has already set a pitch count of around 75 for Ramos and four to five innings. It should be noted that part of stretching a pitcher out in the Rays organization includes the number of ups and downs in a game. If Ramos is cruising along with a low pitch count he still may be removed from the game around the fifth inning because of the ups and downs – but he could find himself stretching to the sixth inning.
Both Alex Cobb from the right side and David Price from the left have spotted their fastballs to get ahead in the count and used a heavy dose of breaking balls to attack the Reds lineup with two strikes. Specifically, Cobb and Price used the changeup to register their strikeouts.
On Friday night David Price struck out 1o batters and seven of them came on swing and miss on the changeup. On Saturday afternoon Alex Cobb had five strikeouts and all five were swing and miss at the changeup.
In 2013 appeared in 48 games and logged 67.1 innings. He used his changeup 16.7% of the time and the pitch was rated as 1.2 runs above average per 100 pitches by Fangraphs.com (zero is neutral and most pitchers range between -1.5 and +1.5).
According to Brooksbaseball.net in 2013 when he was ahead in the count to left handed batters he threw his curveball 24% of the time and his changeup 21%. When a left handed hitter has two strikes against him he threw his curveball 22% and his changeup 19%. Against right handed batters he prefers to use his two seam fastball, slider, and curveball and stays away from the changeup.
The Reds lineup that he will face is:
The Rays lineup