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griffeyfreak4
06-04-2006, 10:22 PM
Lizard has been on a roll lately, and I wonder if he could be a key component in this team contending. With Harang and Arroyo pitching well already, EZ could get us a top three that would be a force to reckon with. He's a young guy who is getting better, and he is learning how to pitch in the big leagues.

Today he pitched great against two guys who have been killing the ball this decade. After striking him out once, Elizardo faced Berkman again in the 6th he and fouled off about 5 pitches in a row. Elizardo didn't let up though, made some great pitches, and finally got Berkman to fly out. The next batter(Morgan Ensberg), Elizardo went down 3-0, and instead of walking him (like many other pitchers would rather do after he already hit a home run off of them earlier in the game), Lizard came right at him and popped him up on a 3-1 pitch.

Lizard showed some great composure on the mound, and if he continues to pitch like this, then this team has a great future, even this year. Now all that needs to happen is we need to dump LaRue and some minor leaguer(s) for a BP arm. :beerme:

reds44
06-04-2006, 10:27 PM
EZ has been impressive this year, especially since he is only 23. Doesn't have awe inspiring stuff, but it seems like he "knows' how to pitch. At 23, that is a good thing. He has a 3.95 ERA, and you can't ask for a whole lot more out of a rookie.

It would be nice if we helped him out though. We don't score when he pitches, and today Weather blew one for him.

Redmachine2003
06-04-2006, 10:31 PM
I think he has been taking lessons from Bronson. With flipping those breaking balls up there.

jimbo
06-04-2006, 10:44 PM
I agree with all of the above posts. He stuff sort of reminds you of Bronson. He is a smart pitcher who seems to be a good student of the game. What about faking that bunt at the plate trying to draw the third baseman in? How many pitchers would think of doing that?

I'm really excited about what he can bring to this team. I don't have any thoughts of him ever being a Cy Young winner, but he can be a nice #3 starter for years to come.

RAS
06-04-2006, 11:13 PM
I heard Marty say that he hit 93 on the gun today in his last inning of pitching so that's throwing pretty hard. He's been a fighter. I like him too.

TStuck
06-05-2006, 12:23 AM
In my mind, EZ has leap frogged over Claussen in the "pecking order" of the starting rotation. As someone commented earlier, he doesn't have awe inspiring stuff, but he has been very consistent at giving the team 6-7 innings of 2-3 runs allowed, which for the Reds, keeps them easily within striking distance of the other team offensively. EZ doesn't seem to be afraid to throw any of his pitches and is willing to challenge hitters on a consistent basis. Claussen, on the other hand, appears to have become maddeningly inconsistent and unremarkable on the mound. He seems to be be afraid to really challenge hitters at times and to be content at trying to just finesse his way around batters. Unfortunately for him and the team this has resulted in inflated pitch counts, walks, and hitters counts where he ends up getting burned more often than not.
(Gulp) I never thought I'd say this, but he's even below Milton in my book. Eric has looked pretty decent since coming off of the DL. Right now, Claussen is no higher than 5th starter in my eyes. I would go so far as to say that he is a guy that I package up in a trade offer to try to obtain a pitching upgrade.

edabbs44
06-05-2006, 12:25 AM
I think this thread title is a little racy...

Keystone12
06-05-2006, 12:47 AM
OK, I love happy threads too, but this one needs to get checked:

I saw EZ pitch July 4 2005 at San Fran - what would be his last start of the season. Putrid. In fact, EZ's entire major-league repertoire before 2006 - putrid. But that's not the real problem - any pitcher might take more than a few score of innings to warm to the bigs.

What worries me about this newfound improvement is that there doesn't seem to be any reason for it. He didn't do anything recently to become more of a 'student of the game' or 'smart pitcher' - his stuff is the same, his mental game is likely still the same. Obviously his personal makeup - confidence & such, especially at the age of 23 - are different. Griffeyfreak4 mentions that in this thread's original post, and to his credit he properly pinpoints the source of EZ's new successes.

But the bottom line is - do you guys trust a pitcher's newfound mental makeup to endure when he still
- has average stuff
- is at the impressionable age of 23
- is part of an organization not particularly known for its pitching intelligence
- and ispitching in what is known as a hitter's park?

[Aside: If the staff had any hand in giving EZ this confidence, they should try the same thing with Claussen...]

I sure don't, and that's why all this talk of EZ as a real #3 starter is hogwash. At this point he's a serviceable 5th, maybe a 4th. If he proves his confidence is really a part of his game-plan, we'll know it soon enough, especially if the pressure is still on in August.

Sorry for flushing the toilet in the middle of your hot showers boys, but as much as I hate to say it I think EZ is going to be on an even colder spell pretty soon...

Jr's Boy
06-05-2006, 12:51 AM
I think this thread title is a little racy...
Thats what i was thinking too.

Cedric
06-05-2006, 01:16 AM
OK, I love happy threads too, but this one needs to get checked:

I saw EZ pitch July 4 2005 at San Fran - what would be his last start of the season. Putrid. In fact, EZ's entire major-league repertoire before 2006 - putrid. But that's not the real problem - any pitcher might take more than a few score of innings to warm to the bigs.

What worries me about this newfound improvement is that there doesn't seem to be any reason for it. He didn't do anything recently to become more of a 'student of the game' or 'smart pitcher' - his stuff is the same, his mental game is likely still the same. Obviously his personal makeup - confidence & such, especially at the age of 23 - are different. Griffeyfreak4 mentions that in this thread's original post, and to his credit he properly pinpoints the source of EZ's new successes.

But the bottom line is - do you guys trust a pitcher's newfound mental makeup to endure when he still
- has average stuff
- is at the impressionable age of 23
- is part of an organization not particularly known for its pitching intelligence
- and ispitching in what is known as a hitter's park?

[Aside: If the staff had any hand in giving EZ this confidence, they should try the same thing with Claussen...]

I sure don't, and that's why all this talk of EZ as a real #3 starter is hogwash. At this point he's a serviceable 5th, maybe a 4th. If he proves his confidence is really a part of his game-plan, we'll know it soon enough, especially if the pressure is still on in August.

Sorry for flushing the toilet in the middle of your hot showers boys, but as much as I hate to say it I think EZ is going to be on an even colder spell pretty soon...

I think Elizardo had pitched 22 innings before this year. How could you make such assumptions?

I'm not sold on Elizardo as a consistent, productive pitcher. But I sure wouldn't look at 22 innings and assume that Elizardo is toast because of it.

He has very solid minor league numbers so it's not 100% that he's just getting lucky right now. He's gotten hitters out at all levels.

reds44
06-05-2006, 01:24 AM
I think Elizardo had pitched 22 innings before this year. How could you make such assumptions?

I'm not sold on Elizardo as a consistent, productive pitcher. But I sure wouldn't look at 22 innings and assume that Elizardo is toast because of it.

He has very solid minor league numbers so it's not 100% that he's just getting lucky right now. He's gotten hitters out at all levels.
Yeah 22 innings at the ripe old age of 22. Hard to make assumption on that.

Also he and Soto worked on his change-up which may have improved him. I really doubt Elizardo is 'lucking' his way into being smart. Guys like EE, Javy, and Felipe are helping him stay calm and cool also. Javy has been like a dad to EZ this year.

jimbo
06-05-2006, 01:36 AM
But the bottom line is - do you guys trust a pitcher's newfound mental makeup to endure when he still
- has average stuff
- is at the impressionable age of 23
- is part of an organization not particularly known for its pitching intelligence
- and ispitching in what is known as a hitter's park?

[Aside: If the staff had any hand in giving EZ this confidence, they should try the same thing with Claussen...]


In my opinion, Arroyo has "average stuff," but he makes up for that by being a smart pitcher and working with what he has. He seems to do just fine in GABP. What stands out with EZ when compared to most pitchers his age is that he is a smart pitcher. You won't find many his age with his poise and the willingness to challenge major league hitters.

The difference between EZ and Claussen is night and day. Claussen has great stuff but in my opinion does not have the mentality and pitches soft, and I don't think he is nearly as coachable as EZ is. I think Claussen will struggle being a great pitcher because of his mental approach and it's too bad because he has a great arm.

Caveat Emperor
06-05-2006, 01:45 AM
The problem with Elizardo Ramirez is that he still doesn't have the ability to do something with a batter when he gets ahead in the count. His minor league peripherals bear that out, to a large extent:


H9 HR9 BB9 K9 WHIP
9.33 0.58 1.39 6.61 1.19


Note his K/9 ratio at 6.61 and his WHIP of 1.19. His K/9 this season in roughly 50 innings of work has been in the 6 range. Even though his BABIP this season has been in the .280 range, the low peripherals indicates that he's a pitcher that relies heavily on his defense as opposed to any great stuff.

Further, Liz's DIPS EAR (Defense-Independant ERA) is 4.72, indicating that he's leading something of a charmed life when it comes to getting good defense behind him on days that he pitches.

All this leads me to my conclusion that it's too early to excited about Elizardo Ramirez. He is only 23, and he's yet to even come close to his "prime years" as a major leaguer. He's got a lot of work to do and needs to get better at expanding the zone with 2 strikes in order to generate more swings and misses. He looks better this year than he did last year, so I'm going to go ahead and, for the time being, at least go into "wait and see" mode.

SteelSD
06-05-2006, 04:59 AM
The problem with Elizardo Ramirez is that he still doesn't have the ability to do something with a batter when he gets ahead in the count. His minor league peripherals bear that out, to a large extent:


H9 HR9 BB9 K9 WHIP
9.33 0.58 1.39 6.61 1.19


Note his K/9 ratio at 6.61 and his WHIP of 1.19. His K/9 this season in roughly 50 innings of work has been in the 6 range. Even though his BABIP this season has been in the .280 range, the low peripherals indicates that he's a pitcher that relies heavily on his defense as opposed to any great stuff.

Further, Liz's DIPS EAR (Defense-Independant ERA) is 4.72, indicating that he's leading something of a charmed life when it comes to getting good defense behind him on days that he pitches.

All this leads me to my conclusion that it's too early to excited about Elizardo Ramirez. He is only 23, and he's yet to even come close to his "prime years" as a major leaguer. He's got a lot of work to do and needs to get better at expanding the zone with 2 strikes in order to generate more swings and misses. He looks better this year than he did last year, so I'm going to go ahead and, for the time being, at least go into "wait and see" mode.

And you'd be right on that. Ramirez' BABIP (.296) coming into tonight is in line with MLB average, but his OPSA is .861 with a .500 SLG Against. His DIPS numbers are pretty accurate and when you're posting near league-average BABIP while producing a 6.00+/9 IP K rate, that's an issue. Even though that K rate is respectable and in line with his minor league numbers (6.61 K/9 IP), Ramirez' Hit/9 IP rate has always been high. That tells me I'm looking at a low IP "feel" pitcher who's going to tax a bullpen and a pitcher who doesn't have a MLB-quality "Out" pitch.

CySeymour
06-05-2006, 09:33 AM
And you'd be right on that. Ramirez' BABIP (.296) coming into tonight is in line with MLB average, but his OPSA is .861 with a .500 SLG Against. His DIPS numbers are pretty accurate and when you're posting near league-average BABIP while producing a 6.00+/9 IP K rate, that's an issue. Even though that K rate is respectable and in line with his minor league numbers (6.61 K/9 IP), Ramirez' Hit/9 IP rate has always been high. That tells me I'm looking at a low IP "feel" pitcher who's going to tax a bullpen and a pitcher who doesn't have a MLB-quality "Out" pitch.

But if he is considered no better than a 4 or a 5, then this ain't bad.

Newman4
06-05-2006, 10:03 AM
For EZ to be successful he needs:

1. Low walk totals
2. Good defense behind him

Because as mentioned, he doesn't strike out that many batters and also he's not a ground ball pitcher, there's very little room for error. I am encouraged by his increase in velocity and his breaking ball seems to have a lot more bite than last year. Work on that breaking ball and use the change. At 23, he can be very good if he continues to improve.

I think the difference in EZ and Claussen is that Claussen used to get by on his natural ability and was a heralded prospect and never has figured out what he needs to do since his stuff has never returned. EZ has had to work his way up and has improved.

TStuck
06-05-2006, 11:14 AM
For EZ to be successful he needs:

1. Low walk totals
2. Good defense behind him

Because as mentioned, he doesn't strike out that many batters and also he's not a ground ball pitcher, there's very little room for error. I am encouraged by his increase in velocity and his breaking ball seems to have a lot more bite than last year. Work on that breaking ball and use the change. At 23, he can be very good if he continues to improve.

I think the difference in EZ and Claussen is that Claussen used to get by on his natural ability and was a heralded prospect and never has figured out what he needs to do since his stuff has never returned. EZ has had to work his way up and has improved.

I agree with you Newman. Liz has very little room for error when he pitches, because in no way, shape, or form is he dominant. But I'm encouraged because he is showing improvement and gaining confidence - this provides hope for better things yet to come.

To address a couple of the posts which were down on Ramirez earlier. After rereading the thread, I'm not sure what elicited such a strong negative reaction. I don't think anyone here is necessarily happy that Ramirez may be the #3 starter right now, but it is what it is and that was what my earlier post was trying to say - Given the 5 guys we currently have, EZ is #3 in my eyes. You bet your sweet bippy that I'd much rather have him be my 5th starter at most- but to do that assumes at least 2 currently non-existent pitchers in the rotation. :bang:

registerthis
06-05-2006, 11:34 AM
I think we need to check our expectations of the #4 or 5 pitcher on this staff.

Ramirez isn't #1 starter material, obviously, but considering the dearth pf pitching this team has had in recent years, and the number of clubs who are struggling to fill the bottom of their rotations, I will happily take whatever quality production Ramirez is able to give us. I think it's unreasonable to expect much more out of the 5 spot in this rotation than what Ramirez is providing.

I'd classify him as a pleasant surprise, but not a pitcher that's likely to rise much higher than what we're currently seeing.

RedsManRick
06-05-2006, 12:05 PM
Elizardo's high end is a Brad Radke type career. He'll never win an ERA or strikeout title, but he can be very effective. What makes Radke successful has been his ability to keep guys off base. If EZ can keep his WHIP in the sub 1.30 range, he WILL be successful. He is the perfect guy to have at the back end of your rotation. He's not gonna throw many shutouts, but he'll keep you in nearly every game.

While we'd all want Brandon Webb in the rotation, this could be the first time in years where we have 3 starters with a league average ERA. Just like last night, he won't be perfect and won't win us games. But if he can consistently give us 5-6 innings and allow just a few runs, that'll be much more than we've gotten from any other 5th starter in recent memory.

saboforthird
06-05-2006, 03:25 PM
Excellent post, RedsManRick. This is exactly how I feel about EZ. The thing that troubles me about some of the comments I see about EZ is that he does have good stuff. EZ just can't locate it right now. Anyone seen the guy's curveball? It has a TON of movement on it. Whether he can locate that pitch is the question. His sinker, as others above mentioned, has movement on it. If he learns to locate his pitches, look out. Here is a tidbit about his curveball, found this over on http://mlb.scout.com ....


Good stuff, Fiesta.

Minor League Profile: Elizardo Ramirez
By Chuck Hixson (Photo: Clearwater Phillies)
Date: Jun 9, 2003

With pitching being a strong point of the Phillies minor league system, itís easy to overlook a guy like Elizardo Ramirez. ďLizardĒ has been impressive since signing with the Phillies as a free agent a couple seasons ago. Actually, the Phillies arenít too upset that Ramirez hasnít attracted too much of the spotlight yet, since he likely needs a lot more seasoning, which is easier to accomplish without the spotlightís glare.

When the Phillies signed Elizardo Ramirez out of the Dominican Republic, they hoped that the 18 year old had not stopped growing or filling out. Luckily, Ramirez has filled out and has put on about 25 pounds since he first signed with the Phillies in 2001. Ramirez still will never be confused with Randy Johnson at just six-foot and 180 pounds, but he definitely needed the added size to help his durability.
In 2002, the Phillies sent Ramirez to the Gulf Coast League and he quickly dominated opposing hitters. In 73 innings, Ramirez whiffed 73 and amazingly, walked just two hitters. This season, Ramirez skipped over Lakewood and went right to Clearwater. While he hasnít been as dominating, he has certainly been powerful. Ramirez (7-5, 4.01) actually walked 17 hitters in his first 85 innings Ė still a good ratio Ė while striking out 54 hitters.

Ramirez can do the basics, with a fastball in the low 90s and the usual movement that scouts look for on the pitch. His bread and butter pitch is the curveball. Ramirez would make some major league hitters look very foolish with his curve and itís even getting better. While his curve ball has been getting better and better, many around the Phillies believe that heíll gain more velocity over time. The Phillies have also been working slowly on getting Ramirez to throw a change-up that they think heíll need to keep higher level hitters honest.

The Phillies are generally pretty cautious with young pitchers, so Ramirez will likely spend the rest of 2003 at Clearwater. Of course, they also like to get top pitchers at least a couple games worth of exposure at the next level late in the season, so fans in Reading could be seeing Ramirez before the end of the campaign.

As Ramirez battles his way through, there seems to be less concern about his durability. Many scouts who thought he might run into problems late in games or late in a season seem to have been wrong and are changing their tune.