RAMIREZ GAINING CONFIDENCE WITH EVERY OUTING FOR YANKEES • Latino Sports

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RAMIREZ GAINING CONFIDENCE WITH EVERY OUTING FOR YANKEES

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Rich Mancuso writes, "Joba Chamberlain continued a transition this week from the New York Yankees bullpen to the starting rotation, and Edwar Ramirez, the right hander from El Cerado Dominican Republic could be his replacement as a setup man out of the pen for relief ace Mariano Rivera."NEW YORK – Joba Chamberlain continued a transition this week from the New York Yankees bullpen to the starting rotation, and Edwar Ramirez, the right hander from El Cerado Dominican Republic could be his replacement as a setup man out of the pen for relief ace Mariano Rivera.

 

 

The way Yankees Manager Joe Girardi used Chamberlain this weekend, two innings out of the pen and 40 pitches Saturday, the process is definitely taking place for the inevitable Chamberlain role. And the way the 27-year old Ramirez is throwing the ball, it is inevitable he could have a new role out of the Yankees pen.

“I don’t care if it’s the seventh or eighth inning because I am throwing the ball well,” said Ramirez after another good outing Sunday at Yankee Stadium. He relieved starter Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning with one out and the Seattle Mariners threatening for more runs and a runner on.

 

Ramirez threw a fastball to Raul Ibanez which ended in the glove of Derek Jeter.  Another fastball and a fly ball out to Bobby Abreu and his work was done. Another inning and- a half of scoreless ball, two hits and good pitching from Ramirez that kept the Yankees in the game.

 

The Yankees would get four runs in their half of the eighth inning coming from behind and then, Mariano Rivera out of the pen for the 9th preserved a 6-5 win over Seattle, their season-high fifth straight win.  Their 11th come-from –behind win and first after a deficit of three or more runs.

 

More importantly the Yankees concluded a three-game sweep of the Mariners and for the first time since May 10th reached the .500 mark at 25-25. And Ramirez could be the new setup man to Rivera, especially if the results keep showing. Girardi also used Kyle Farnsworth in the role this week, but Ramirez is also using a nasty curve and changeup to retire batters.

 

“He’s been reliable and good for us and I had faith that someday he would do something for us,” said Girardi about Ramirez who has yet to allow a run this season in 19 combined relief appearances with the Yankees and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

It wasn’t like that late last season in the Bronx when Ramirez was called up He impressed with the fastball in a debut against the Twins and then lost control of the fastball. From there it was numerous back-and-forth trips from Scranton to the Bronx and finishing the season with an 8.14 ERA  

 

But during the off-season, while visiting Santo Domingo, Ramirez met New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez on a baseball diamond. They talked and Ramirez got some constructive advice about control on his fastball and with other pitches.

 

Martinez talked to Ramirez for a few hours. “He said to me "You don’t know what you have. You have very good stuff. You don’t have to throw hard."  And there has been additional talks and help from Rivera, the other future Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

“Mariano also has told me about the good stuff and how to pitch left handed hitters, throw more changeups and sliders,” said Ramirez   Pitching Coach Dave Eiland has also been instrumental for Ramirez who was credited with the win Sunday, his first of the season.

 

With more appearances out of the pen in key situations it does appear Girardi is gearing to use Ramirez as that new set up man for Rivera, though Farnsworth, also pitching effectively may still be under consideration. Ramirez doesn’t care what role he has as long as he is pitching well.

 

“He’s been a great addition to the ball club,” said Johnny Damon. And as the Yankees embarked on a seven-game road trip to Baltimore and Minnesota the transition will continue for Chamberlain, scheduled to throw again at some point Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

For Ramirez, his new role could also continue. He will be waiting in the pen with Rivera watching and always available to answer questions.  

 

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Edited and posted by WGR

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]