A couple weeks ago we started this segment where we will analyze a random relief pitcher that the casual fan may not be aware of. This week we will continue with our second pitcher in this segment, Phillies reliever Edubray Ramos. He is 25 years old and has played parts of 3 seasons in the Major League. If you are a big baseball follower or Phillies fan you may recognize the great season he is having, but we will dig deeper into what makes him so special.
Ramos relied on both his four-seam fastball and slider. Those pitches make up 94% of his arsenal. What sticks out in the leader board is that he has the highest soft% and lowest hard% among relievers with at least 30 innings pitched and he currently has a 1.91 ERA with a 3.22 FIP. This has not been the case with him. Last season in 57 innings pitched, he had a 4.21 ERA but a 2.91 FIP. In fact, in regards to quality of contact he was nearly the opposite. He instead ranked 25th lowest soft% and 43rd highest in hard% out of 150 relief pitchers. What changed?
His fastball is about the same velocity as last year or if anything it is down slightly. His spin rate for his fastball is slightly down this year and he is seeing less life on his ball this year. This however continues to be a negligible amount. The difference, as with many pitchers, is due to location. This season (left)
he is very precise on his fastball location where as last year (right) he was more erratic as seen in the heat maps.
With regards to usage, Ramos appears to be more confident in using his slider. In 2017 it was more of his out pitch whereas this season he will also use it when he is behind in the count. He continues to use his slider as his out pitch. Ramos has one of the best sliders in the game according to wSL on Fangraphs. This year Ramos has an average launch angle on his slider of 27 degrees as opposed to 17 degrees last year. This year however, his exit velocity on his slider is 78.6 mph which is 3rd lowest. Last season it was 86.3 mph which was 29th out of 140. While his slider has less movement and a higher launch angle, hitters are making weaker contact.
The Phillies will need Ramos to return from the DL healthy and continue his good performance. While his quality of pitches is slightly worse than last year he is succeeding in soft contact. This may contribute to the Lower FIP last season than this season. The Phils have consistently had him pitch 7th and 8th innings and in high leverage situations. He will have to continue to perform if the Phillies want to take the NL East.
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