From the Wire: Cubs Option RHP Neil Ramirez to Iowa, Recall RHP Blake Parker

According to multiple reports, the Cubs optioned RHP Neil Ramirez to Iowa and have recalled RHP Blake Parker. The Cubs reportedly would like to give Ramirez a breather and his demotion is not performance based.

Neil Ramirez began the year in the minors, the team has already used one of his minor league options for this season

Neil Ramirez pitched an inning in Friday’s win over the Cardinals and has appeared in 33 games for the Cubs this season. In 28 innings, the hard-throwing right hander has allowed three runs on 16 hits with 10 walks and 36 strikeouts. Ramirez appeared in nine games this month and gave up seven hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

PrintNeil Ramirez cannot be recalled for 10 days unless he is replacing an injured player on the Cubs’ roster.

Blake Parker has appeared in five games for the Cubs this season and can pitch multiple innings. Parker has allowed six runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings (9.53 ERA, 1.94 WHIP). This is Parker’s fourth stint with the big league team of the year.

The Cubs are committed to not overusing the young power arms in the pen and that is the main reason for carrying 13 pitchers on the active roster for a majority of the year with an eight-man bullpen. The bullpen has been overused the last three weeks. The front office should consider using a couple of pitchers when the rosters expand in September to piggyback starters in order to keep from losing several promising young relievers to injury.

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  • Theboardrider

    My first reaction to the headline was WTH!!!! But after seeing the reasoning I understand sorta.

    But, everyone thinks I always agree with Theo and I’ll say right here I would have kept him up regardless. They could have limited his innings in the MLB bullpen for a week or 10 days and rested him that way. Unless part of this move is to start stretching him out I don’t agree with it. And it may be too late in season to stretch him.

    But, as always I’ll post that this is my opinion and Theo and co, get paid big bucks and have a great track record. They know a lot more than me and who knows? Maybe doctors have said to go easy on Ramirez or he himself has seemed run down or made a comment to a coach that he probably wishes he wouldn’t have about being sore or tired. It’s hard for me to question any moves for just this reason. They are playing with a complete deck of inside information and I absolutely am not.

    • Denver Mike

      The problem with resting him on the ML roster is that it just continues to tax the other arms in the pen because he isn’t contributing as many innings. I feel like this is just the situation the FO has been forced in to because few of the starting staff can work deep in to games right now. I’m not really looking too deep into it, I just think it’s the hand they’ve been dealt. By limiting his innings and allowing him to rest in a lost season, they are helping to ensure he is back healthy and ready to contribute next year when hopefully there is more to play for. He’s had a really good year, and it’s nice to have an arm like that in the pen that you don’t have to worry about as much when he comes in the game.

      • Theboardrider

        Well Mike. As sometimes happens, you have made a good point and I think that I’m probably wrong and you’re right. The bullpen is really getting taxed and I have been worried about it. Having an unused arm down there could be a disaster.

        We will depend on him next year.

        • Denver Mike

          I have been wrong many times before, so time will tell :)

          I do think the bullpen has become one of the few strengths on this year’s team, and there is the potential to have quite a few young power arms next year with Rondon, Strop, Ramirez, and Vizcaino in there. Sprinkle in a couple lefties, a long man or two, then let’s just hope for some health and a little luck!

          • J Daniel

            Agree with you!

          • triple

            Couldn’t have said that any better…

      • J Daniel

        It is a hand they dealt themselves and so have to work around it. I am a supporter of what they are doing but they have to have known this was going to happen when you trade 2 guys that could actually pitch 6-8 innings on a consistent basis, unlike EJax.

        We know that they are not concerned with the W/L record and have to do what is best for the young players, especially the pitchers.

  • John_CC

    Neil, by piggyback do mean that they should just schedule two pitchers to go certain days and hope to not use the bullpen at all? Or just carry a couple more long relievers and plan to use them on the Jackson and Wood starts?

    I really hope “they” are advising Renteria to not use so many pitchers. It seems like a rookie manager tendency to use to many pitchers, at least is was with Sveum too.

    • Neil

      Either one would work, but scheduled piggybacks would keep those pitchers on regular rest. For instance, Hendricks will likely have his innings limited in Sept. Hendricks is just over 40 innings short of his career high of 166 in a single season. Beeler pitched only 54 2/3 innings last year, plus the AFL, due to injury and has already pitched 80 this year. For him, his career high is 136.

      I could go on and on. There are talented young arms that will have their seasons cut short due to innings limits. There would not be anything wrong with piggybacking certain pitchers, when the roster expands, and allow them to continue to pitch and go through the grind of a full season without exceeding the pre-determined limits.

      I have not heard or read about them doing this, just my two cents …

      • Denver Mike

        We all know your two cents are worth at least a buck-fifty

        • Neil

          Well done sir, well done.

      • John_CC

        I like it. Bit it would difficult for the team in that it is in a sense a concession, it is treating an ML game as if it was spring training. But I still think it is good idea. The option of relying on a long man and then 3 relievers every other day is not sustainable!

        • bpot92

          Its not too much different from what the rockies did with I think strict 85 pitch counts and I believe 6 days rest. The league would not consider it bad to rest our young arms since I think we might still be the same competitive level since we are in or near last place. Instead of allowing the young guys to go way over and use a middle reliever like Ramirez, we use a Rusin and Hendricks combo to ease both if the innings pitched.

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  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Do we have no one else besides Blake Parker to take a look at? I think Parker is a known commodity at this point…would rather bring up someone else to see what they have to offer. Parker isn’t part of the future.

    • Tony_H

      Rosscup and Vizcaino are the only other relief pitchers on the 40 man roster. Not gonna make a 40 man move for the 8th RP in the pen.

  • calicub

    Good move by the Cubs here. Rami should be happy with his performance in his brief trip up to the bigs.

  • Neil

    From Fred Mitchell: Renteria says Ramirez was sent to Iowa as proactive move to rest his arm.

    • John_CC

      “…because even when I know I shouldn’t I just can’t help but call him” he continued. Out of sight out of mind.

  • cubsin

    I’m sure most of our relievers are getting tired by now. Arrieta seems to be the only SP who can consistently pitch beyond five innings. Perhaps Hendricks can help through August, when the rosters expand. Then they can shut down Arrieta and Hendricks to insure a high draft pick.

    • John_CC

      Or to ensure that they don’t overuse them and to prevent arm trouble next season.

      Depends on how look at it.

      • bpot92

        Or both! its a win- win (lose-lose?)

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Cubs Renteria says they talked about doing this [sending Ramirez down] since Spring Training. May do it with other relievers as well

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