optioned to Triple-A
Righty struggling of late; lefty Shackleford takes his spot
By Zachary Levine / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Elizardo Ramirez had one of the best games of his young career on July 27 in Houston, striking out eight and allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings.
Since then, however, the Reds right-hander hasn't been the same, amassing a 19.13 ERA in three starts and a relief appearance. Before Sunday's game, Ramirez was sent down to Triple-A Louisville.
The move comes two days after the young righty took the loss in emergency relief against the Phillies, as he allowed a run on two hits and two walks in one-third of an inning. And it comes a day after he got back on the mound and lasted just 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs in Saturday's victory. He lasted exactly 38 pitches in each of his last two starts.
"Manager Jerry Narron had one thing in particular that he'd like his young pitcher to work on in his stint with the Bats.
I think he throws his changeup a little bit too hard," Narron said. "I'd like to see the same arm speed with just a couple of miles an hour off. I think at times, the speed of it is too close to his fastball."
With Ramirez being sent down, it opened up a spot for left-handed reliever Brian Shackelford to rejoin the roster. Shackelford, who turns 30 at the end of the month, is racking up quite the mileage.
He enters his fourth stint with the big club this season. He was sent down on Aug. 1 to make room for reliever Rheal Cormier, who was acquired from the Phillies.
"You just got to roll with the punches and do what you're told," said Shackleford, who is 1-0 with a 6.92 ERA in 21 appearances with Cincinnati this season. "Hope to get a telephone call every now and then."
In addition, Ramirez's departure gives Narron an extra spot to fill in the starting rotation. Chris Michalak had quite the audition Saturday in relief of Ramirez. The 35-year-old lefty pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits to earn his first victory since 2001.
However, Narron also left open the possibility of starting Ryan Franklin, who was in the rotation his last three years with Seattle before pitching in relief for the Phillies and Reds this year. In addition, the skipper did not eliminate the possibility of starting somebody not currently on the Major League roster.