The Detroit Tigers season has had a lot more ups than downs as they sit at 29-59 in the middle of July.
Since the Detroit Tigers season has been lost, Detroit has experimented throughout the season with different players and positions to see if anything can stick next season. Some of these experiments include as simple as calling multiple different players up to examine how they perform.
Others involved the likes of having not started pitching for a bullpen game and continuously changing positions around. However, one experiment that sticks out is Nick Ramirez’s journey from first baseman to a relief pitcher.
Thus far, Ramirez is 4-3 with an ERA of 4.71 in his 42 innings he has pitched. He most recent win came as recently as Sunday night against Kansas City where he was gifted the win in a 12-8 offensive showdown. Sunday’s success should come as a slight confidence booster for Ramirez.
In the eight games he has appeared in, all have resulted in losses for the Tigers, and three of them he was given the loss. Even with his ERA of 4.71, he is just above the ERA average for Detroit relievers. This year, the average ERA for Detroit relievers is 4.99.
Detroit wasn’t the team to convert Ramirez from first base to the mound. It was the minds of the Milwaukee Brewers, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. When he was selected, he continued to play first base until 2017 when Milwaukee converted him to an all-time pitcher.
Ramirez went to sign a deal with a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers in the year of 2018. Then on May 10th, the Tigers optioned Zac Reininger to Toledo to bring up the left-hander Ramirez and hasn’t moved ever since.
There are two things you can take away from Ramirez, the first being his stamina. There have been several times this year where Detroit has kept him in for three innings or more. Not only has he been in for long periods, but in these longer shifts, he has been able to perform decently in them too.
The one downfall regarding Ramirez is his inconsistency. There are times where Ramirez comes out and doesn’t give up a single run, and others where runs come flooding in a short amount of time. When Ramirez comes to the mound, fans will most likely get a dominating performance or a rough ride.
Regardless of the stats, let’s remember this is his first year in the majors. The fact that he is producing what he is producing while being a first baseman for most of his life is quite impressive. Fans should watch the 29-year-old closely throughout the rest of the season. If he continues to improve, he could have a more significant role to play in the Tigers’ upcoming future.