The Brewers claimed RHP Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Cubs
As expected, RHP Neil Ramirez did not pass through waivers. The Milwaukee Brewers claimed Ramirez off waivers Tuesday from the Cubs.
The Cubs designated Ramirez for assignment May 21 to open a spot on the active roster for Matt Szczur. The Cubs had to activate Szczur from the disabled list earlier than planned after Jason Heyward crashed into the wall at AT&T Park. Heyward came back sooner than expected. The Cubs could not play with an even shorter bench than Joe Maddon had at the time.
The Cubs acquired Neil Ramirez as the player to be named later in the Matt Garza deal with the Rangers on July 22, 2013. The Cubs initially added INF Mike Olt, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP C.J. Edwards and a PTBNL for Garza. Reports at the time of the trade indicated the Cubs wanted Ramirez in the deal but concerns over his shoulder kept him from being included when the trade was announced.
The Rangers sent Ramirez to the Cubs a month later (Aug. 23) to complete the trade for Garza.
Ramirez was used primarily as a starter in the Rangers. The Cubs moved him to the bullpen as a way to maximize his talent, keep him on the mound and off the disabled list.
Neil Ramirez lit up the radar gun with an electric fastball during the 2014 season. Ramirez appeared in 50 games and posted a 3-3 record with three saves, 1.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 2.61 FIP. Ramirez struck out 53 batters with 17 walks and 29 hits allowed in 43 2/3 innings.
Last season Ramirez dealt with multiple injuries and appeared in only 19 games. Ramirez was 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 3.21 FIP. Numbers aside, the lack of velocity was extremely concerning.
Ramirez broke camp on the active roster as he tried to build up his shoulder strength and learn how to pitch with diminished velocity. Ramirez showed signs and appeared in eight games for the Cubs this season. Ramirez allowed four runs on five hits with eight walks and 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings (4.70 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 5.33 FIP).
The Brewers have made an excellent pickup. And Neil Ramirez is now with an organization that can be a little more patient with him than the Cubs.