In addition to sending Nick Franklin back to the minors following a six-day call-up the Mariners have also dropped right-hander Erasmo Ramirez from their starting rotation and demoted him all the way down to Single-A.
Officially the reason being given for sending Ramirez to Single-A instead of Triple-A is that he can remain on his current pitching schedule and, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com, “rejoin the rotation after the Mariners have two off days in next five days.”
Brandon Maurer will take Ramirez’s spot in the rotation Sunday and then the Mariners are hoping to activate Hisashi Iwakuma from the disabled list next week, so it seems far from a given that Ramirez will be back immediately.
Ramirez debuted at age 22 and posted a 4.25 ERA and 105/38 K/BB ratio in 131 innings between 2012 and 2013, but this season he allowed 18 runs and a league-high six homers in 24 innings. He actually threw a Quality Start last time out, including eight strikeouts versus the Astros, but afterward manager Lloyd McClendon was curiously critical of the performance anyway.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.