I’ve thought about writing one of my Paul Byrd pronouncements — “Horacio Ramirez isn’t going to pitch this year and may never again”. Ramirez put up a 2.39 ERA last season (2.28 when he got hurt, plus one really bad inning at the end of the season) despite statistics that simply can’t carry that. He struck out only 31 in 60 1/3 innings and walked 30. Unless you’re an extreme ground-ball pitcher that won’t work, and Ramirez isn’t. I don’t know how he did it, and I haven’t a whole of faith in his ability to do it again. Frankly, I wasn’t sure he’d be able to repeat his 2003, when he was slightly above-average.
Plus he’s hurt, and they don’t know why. He was on the shelf for most of the second half with “tendinitis”, which as you know means exactly that, “It hurts and we don’t know why”. He had his shoulder scoped in the offseason to remove some fraying of the rotator cuff, but it’s not certain that was the problem. They don’t know whether he’ll be ready to start the season. He says he’s confident he’ll be ready, but he spent two months last season saying he was one rehab start away from coming back and never really made it.