As first reported by beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays have acquired right-handed starter Erasmo Ramirez from the Mariners in exchange for left-hander Mike Montgomery.
Ramirez was out of options and out of the mix for a rotation spot in Seattle. He holds a 4.62 ERA (80 ERA+) in 206 2/3 career major league innings, but the native of Nicaragua is only 24 years old and put up some intriguing numbers in the minors. Ramirez will give depth to a Rays rotation that will be without Alex Cobb (forearm), Drew Smyly (shoulder), and Matt Moore (elbow) at the beginning of 2015.
Montgomery is 25 years old and has yet to pitch in a big league game. The southpaw posted an uninspiring 4.29 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 98/48 K/BB ratio in 126 innings last season for the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham, North Carolina. His future role with the M’s is probably lefty relief.
If you’ve ever found yourself on I-75/71 in Kentucky, just over the river from Cincinnati, you’ve no doubt noticed the water tower for the city of Florence, Kentucky. Its top is painted with red and white stripes and, instead of featuring the town’s name or the name of the local water concern, it says, “Florence, Y’all.”
The water tower is a nice welcome to Dixie, even if Kentucky isn’t really Dixie. The point is that, if you’re from Ohio or Michigan or someplace and you see it, you know you’re on your way to Lexington or Louisville, or points south. To warmer climes, southern charm and hospitality and, hopefully, a nice little trip.
The folks who support the Frontier League baseball team in Florence no doubt realize the kind of chatter that surrounds that water tower, because they just voted to rename their team:
And they added a handy dandy explainer:
I like it. And I like the idea of naming a baseball team after a notable and much talked-about roadside sign. Which is to say that, if I ever get a baseball team here in Ohio, I’m also gonna name it after a famous sign you see while driving on the interstate not too far from me:
Yeah, that’s a thing. And my baseball team would not even be the first sports thing named after it.
Viva local culture.