Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 2:02 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Elvin Ramirez arrives, pitches in the bullpen

By Adam Kilgore

After flying into the States yesterday, reliever Elvin Ramirez passed his physical this morning in Viera and participated in today's practice with the Nationals. He threw a bullpen session monitored by pitching coach Steve McCatty, pitching coordinator Spin Williams, Manager Jim Riggleman and General Manager Mike Rizzo.

Ramirez showed off his fluid, easy delivery, a laconic motion that belies the 100-mph power in his right arm. He didn't seem to throw with all of his velocity, but his fastball moved with late, downward bite. He threw several big, sharp-breaking curveballs, an indication he's been on a throwing program in the Dominican Republic while waiting for his visa delay to end.

So long as all goes to plan, Ramirez will throw one or two more bullpen sessions before throwing either live batting practice or in a spring training game, Riggleman said.

The Nationals chose Ramirez off the Mets' roster in December's Rule 5 draft, which means they will either have to carry him on their major league roster all season, work out a trade or ship him back to the Mets. His powerful arm is packed tantalizing potential, but he's had only 6 2/3 innings experience beyond Class A and he walked 5.5 batters per nine innings in the minors last season. Still, given the dynamics at play, Ramirez could stick on the Nationals' 25-man roster.

"He's got an opportunity," Riggleman said. "That's why we drafted him in the Rule 5 draft. He just needs to make it a tough call for us. He needs to pitch effectively so at least he's in the discussion. We do have commitments to some veteran guys, but if they can persuade us otherwise, then we're open to that."

By Adam Kilgore  | February 24, 2011; 2:02 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Long toss: Who are the Nats' leaders?
Next: Some Matt Stairs leftovers

Comments

"He needs to pitch effectively so at least he's in the discussion.
We do have commitments to some veteran guys, but if they can
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
persuade us otherwise, then we're open to that."

Here on Giggleman's Isle the first mate and the skipper too will do their very best to make National fans comfortable as his veterans make a mess.

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

With that much heat he's worth a chance. Maybe he can find the plate a little more often--apparently he did well over the winter in the Dominican League.
Periculum, have you considered adding more bran to your diet? It might improve your world view considerably.

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | February 24, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Donkeyfarmer: I think Peric is expressing, albeit in rather strong terms, the frustration many fans felt with Riggleman's personally laudable but professionally dubious loyalty to vets last year. I too got a tad weary of seeing a couple of guys who were just awful striding to the plate for yet another strike out.

Posted by: NatsFly | February 24, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Not really sure Riggleman had so many options last year...

Putting Guzman in RF, definitely ill advised... handling of Michael Morse (for example, double switching him out of a game where he had 2 homers), definitely a little off....

But, his choices to play 2b were Guzman or Kennedy... Espinosa was NOT ready for the bigs at the beginning of 2010, so he was left with 2 mediocre to poor veteran choices at 2b....

Pudge got way too many at bats last year... he played solid D, but his bat was terrible after April... but, the only options before the Ramos trade were Nieves and Maldonado, yuck...

OK, Willie Harris got way, way too many ABs last year, compared to Morse... but, once the Hammer got hurt, what else was he going to do? Bernie wasn't exactly tearing it up himself that time of year...

So, I don't think Riggleman is completely to blame, he did not have a complete roster... he still doesn't, but it is significantly more complete today then it was 1 year ago...

Posted by: Ghost7 | February 24, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So, you want to criticize a manager for not automatically giving a roster spot to a guy who hasn't thrown seven innings above A ball in his career? Really?

Fanboy crushes are a great thing. Just remember to wash them down with a little cup of reality.

Posted by: baltova1 | February 24, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"We do have commitments to some veteran guys, but if they can
persuade us otherwise, then we're open to that."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The WTF is Mike Rizzo talking about when he speaks about his "competition memo"? Is there competition or isn't there? Honestly, it sure looks like Jim Riggleman leading his favored veterans to another last place finish by playing guys who get "veterans preference" that he has a "commitment" to? LOSING BASEBALL just like in Chicago and in Seattle.

Welcome to Giggleman's Isle.

There is no reason why a guy like Coffey given the shape he looks to be in gets any sort of preference over a guy like Ramirez if he shows the kind of control he had in winter ball in the DR.

The schedule starting getting rough, Riggle's pathetic veterans tossed, if not of the courage of a Zimmerman the season will surely be lost.

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"So, you want to criticize a manager for not automatically giving a roster spot to a guy who hasn't thrown seven innings above A ball in his career? Really?

@baltova1, Ge, IN e WHAT PLACE DID Riggleman's team finish last year? ********** L A S T ****************************
****************L A S T ****************************

For the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!!!!!!

SHOW ME WHICH "veteran" deserves an "automatic" spot on the roster given that? Kind of like Marquis last year right?

NO ONE DESERVES ANY AUTOMATIC ROSTER SPOT with the exception of Zimmerman and Strasburg were he available. NO ONE, not under those circumstances.

There's your dose of reality dude, drink it, eat it, savor it! LAST PLACE! And with Riggleman's current attitude do you actually believe it won't happen again? Do you hear Showalter saying that kind of crap! NO! Probably makes "Poopy's" day.

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

periculum, let me get this straight: Strasburg is going to be a leader for the Nationals this season despite not being in DC or wherever the club is playing? Dream on, sir.

Your messages continually lack credibility because you misrepresent the facts and just shout instead. Although I'm neither a champion nor a detractor of Riggleman's, attributing three full years worth of last place seasons to him is simply ridiculous because he hasn't been the head coach for that long.

Finally, to answer your challenge of naming a "veteran" that deserves an "automatic" spot on the club that's not Zimmerman or Strasburg? That's easy: Jayson Werth. Now, please stop spouting off nonsense.

Posted by: faNATic | February 24, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

No one deserves an automatic roster spot??

You think if Marrero outhits LaRoche in spring training they should bring Marrero up and cut LaRoche loose?

Posted by: Sunderland | February 24, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"periculum, let me get this straight: Strasburg is going to be a leader for the Nationals this season despite not being in DC or wherever the club is playing? Dream on, sir."

Clearly an extremely dim bulb who understands very little about baseball. All eyes in baseball were on Strasburg last year. And many will be watching Strasburg's rehab with great interest. Do you think they would be as interested in JZimmnn or any other pitcher? That dude is leadership. Injured or not. He is a leader for this team.

"Your messages continually lack credibility because you misrepresent the facts and just shout instead. Although I'm neither a champion nor a detractor of Riggleman's, attributing three full years worth of last place seasons to him is simply ridiculous because he hasn't been the head coach for that long."

And yours have the credibility of a junior high student who barely knows what he is talking about. Riggleman has been with team the ENTIRE TIME the team was finishing last. First as bench coach (#2 to Manny Acta) and then approximate 1/2 that time as the team's manager dolt. Gee look it up, google it or ask your teacher at school?

"Finally, to answer your challenge of naming a "veteran" that deserves an "automatic" spot on the club that's not Zimmerman or Strasburg? That's easy: Jayson Werth. Now, please stop spouting off nonsense."

Wrong again silly little boy. Many out in the baseball world question the Werth signing. They question whether he will perform up to the expectations of such a contract. The question whether he will be able to be the offensive force he was on a team surrounded with all-stars versus the current rendition of the project last place Nats.

So, yes because of his contract he may be "guaranteed" a spot. But if he doesn't perform do you think he should just be allowed to go out there and hit like Willy Harris did last year for Riggleman? If you do then you are the dimmest bulb in the history of mankind.

As for my choices of Zimmerman and Strasburg. Both performed at above all-star levels for a last place team. Werth performed for a first place team. As a discriminating fan I must pick them as my "guaranteed" locks to make the team. Everyone else should in theory compete for their jobs. Period. dude!

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, Corales was Acta's Bench Coach in 2007. Riggleman did not join until 2008. Wrong again.

Posted by: whatsaNATaU | February 24, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

peric's right.
Let them all compete.
If Morse has a better spring then Werth, then just cut Werth. If Marrero outhits, LaRoche, cut LaRoche. If you can't outplay your competition in meaningless part time exhibition games, then you don't deserve a roster spot. If Marquis and Gorzelanny have early spring troubles, screw 'em, we don't need 'em anyhow. We'll throw whichever 5 guys seem to be in the best shape in late March. That's how you build a roster, competition baby!

Posted by: Sunderland | February 24, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested as to how periculum thinks Strasburg will be providing active leadership from Florida in, let's say, the 7th inning of any given Nationals game in May. Perhaps Strasburg will call Coffey's cell phone in the bullpen and tell him to get in shape because he might pitch today! That'd really be motivating, and I can totally see that happening because that's what a true leader would do! There's no way Strasburg won't be that involved, because he's supposed to be a true leader this season and not focusing on rehabbing his arm in Florida!

What a joke, aeoliano.

By your flawed reasoning, we'd better attribute all the wins and losses this season to Bo Porter as much as anyone else, since every coach on the staff is fully responsible for every win and loss. Notwithstanding the fact that he's been assigned specific responsibilities on the team, better hold him accountable for the entire team if he's ever considered for another job too.

What a crock, periculum.

Baseball observers are absolutely free to question whether it was wise to hand a 31-year-old outfielder a $126 million contract, and they've certainly engaged in that debate. Not a single observer outside of yourself has suggested that Werth should not be a starting position player for the Nationals this year.

Finally, let's not change the question after you've started the inquiry. The question was which "veteran" should have an "automatic" roster spot aside from Zimmerman and Strasburg. Even if Werth hit Willie Harris numbers during spring training, he'd still be entitled to an "automatic" roster spot. No one is arguing about what happens if he does that all regular season, so please, stop being disingenuous.

Let's be frank: you're again making baseless proclamations, peric, and no one else is quite the joke that you've become.

Posted by: faNATic | February 24, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

If they want to keep Elvin, all they have to do is sweeten the deal to his old team. They don't even have to consider him for the roster - trades are common in that situation if you really want someone. But they'll have to decide this month whether they want to deal for him, because even if he makes the roster, he's day to day and can be sent down. Just do it, Pants.

Posted by: Brue | February 24, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

peri, seriously, be careful with the meds, okay...

BTW, if you actually go back and read Riggleman's quote, he's making it clear he's willing to give Ramirez a chance to make the team (which is probably why they picked him in the Rule 5 draft in the first place, you know). He's just saying he's got some veterans out there in contention, too, you know, guys who've actually pitched above A ball...

Man, peri, when you get a fanboy crush on a player, you're like a Bieber fan after he didn't win the Grammy.

Posted by: baltova1 | February 24, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

So Strasburg is now a "leader" because of his performance in 12 effing games last year and possibly ZERO games this season? Ummm, I don't think so. That's not how it works. Just how many rookies are called upon to be team leaders? How many would have the impudence to even have the temerity to think of themselves as such? But then, my 50+ year knowledge of baseball probably could be placed on the head of a pin.

Posted by: Natstoyou | February 25, 2011 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company