Well, this played out pretty much like everyone expected. The starting rotation – in some order or another – will be Felix, Paxton, Iwakuma, Happ, and Walker, with Elias waiting in the wings as needed. Erasmo Ramirez never had a shot, but he was never really GOING to have a shot so long as the six guys above him on the depth chart stayed healthy.
Erasmo Ramirez probably isn’t a guy who’s ever going to be a starting pitcher in the Major Leagues. He’ll get opportunities, because he’s young and cheap and under club control for however much longer. He’ll start, but he won’t be a starter. Unless he lands on a very bad team – and who knows, maybe the Rays are that bad team – I don’t think he’ll ever consistently win a job in a starting rotation.
He’s a decent fill-in guy. Someone who – if you can afford to keep him around on your 25-man roster – will spot start for you when someone else goes down. But, I highly doubt we’re looking at someone who’s going to make the significant leap required to be an everyday Major Leaguer.
It’s pretty amazing that the Mariners got anything for him at all. Then again, that’s what we said about the Jarrod Washburn trade, the Carlos Silva trade, the Jeff Clement trade, and so on and so forth. On the one hand, you feel over the moon that you got ANYBODY; the ol’ “I’ll Take A Bag Of Balls & A Couple Batting Donuts” deal. You see what you get in return and you try to start plugging holes with your new acquisition. But, you gotta remember that whenever you’re trading away a disappointment, odds are you’re getting another disappointment in return.
Mike Montgomery was a first round pick out of high school for the Kansas City Royals. He’s a lefty with a good fastball and a decent change up, without a third pitch or the confidence to hack it. He was poised to break out in 2011 but immediately went in the tank. His 2012 actually saw him sent from AAA to AA before being traded. The Rays were in the process of converting him into a reliever, which sounds like the way to go. It worked for Brandon Maurer, after all. The only thing is, he’s a lefty who’s better against right-handed bats, because he could never figure out how to throw his curve ball effectively and consistently.
The important thing is: he has options. Well, option. He’ll get to start out in Tacoma, he’ll continue to work out of the bullpen, and he’ll get to take this year to do nothing but work on his craft. No pressure of him being called up immediately. Just let him do his thing and see if the conversion does the trick. Maybe when September rolls around, he’ll have earned himself a call up. At which point, we’ll get a better look at him ahead of next year’s Spring Training to see if he’s worthy of a shot at our bullpen in 2016.
This is probably as good as we could’ve hoped for. We got something in return – another left-handed bullpen arm to throw onto the pile – we traded him out of the division – in the event he goes Full Noesi and comes back to bite us in the ass every time we face him – and it frees up the spot on our 25-man roster. Now, let’s put this in the rearview and go win us a division.