Los Angeles Angels: J.C. Ramirez a Bright Spot in the Starting Rotation

Over the past two seasons, the Los Angeles Angels rotation has suffered injury after injury. Although, reliever turned starter J.C. Ramirez remains a bright spot for the Angels’ staff.

The Los Angeles Angels hoped that their injury troubles wouldn’t carry over from 2016 into 2017. Injuries popped up again for the Angels this season, especially to the starting rotation.

Angels’ starters on the DL right now include Garrett Richards with a biceps strain, Tyler Skaggs with an oblique strain and Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney both recovering from Tommy John surgery. Due to the staff suffering from injuries, the Angels started using reliever J.C. Ramirez as a starter.

Before the Angels started using him as a starter, Ramirez’s appearances all came as a reliever. In his 111 games as a reliever, Ramirez posted a 5.14 ERA. In his first three appearances, this season out of relief, he allowed three earned runs in five innings of work. His fourth appearance came as a starter.

Besides for a rough first start for Ramirez, he’s pitching well in the starting rotation. In fact, Ramirez continues to exceed expectations as a starter. He currently looks like the Angels’ best starter.

Since becoming a starter back in April, Ramirez has made five starts. Ramirez’s pitched 28.2 innings with a 1-2 record, a 3.51 ERA and 32 strikeouts. In his first outing as a starter, he gave up five earned runs against the Houston Astros. Since that outing, Ramirez has allowed just three runs or less in his four starts. In those four starts, two were quality starts.

The other starters in the Angels’ rotation include Matt Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco and Jesse Chavez. All three of these starters own an ERA in the fours.

Ramirez’s second start against the Astros turned out much better than his first start. On Saturday, Ramirez held the Astros to one run in six innings of work and didn’t earn a decision. He scattered eight hits and two walks and also struck out two batters. Success against the best team in the AL West is a great sign for Ramirez and the Angels.

The 28-year-old right-hander’s best start came against the Oakland Athletics on April 25. He pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just two hits and two walks. He also struck out seven batters. The Angels failed to score for Ramirez, so he didn’t factor into the decision.

If Ramirez can keep this up, he might remain in the rotation even when they get their main starters back.

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