Generally veteran relievers get more rope from Washington Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo — but not this week. Even Trevor Rosenthal and his 22.74 ERA in 2019 lasted longer with Rizzo than Erasmo Ramirez and Andres Machado did this season. Both gone by the first week of June. Rosenthal stayed on the team until his DFA on June 23, and that came in a year that the Nats were competing for the playoffs. One source described Rizzo as “extremely disappointed” in the results from his bullpen.
We broke the news early this morning on the TalkNats site and later on Twitter that Cory Abbott was headed to Washington, D.C., but we were not told who it would be for. This move appeared it could have been due to a pending IL move, but that was not the case. The move was a DFA of Ramirez who was part of manager Dave Martinez‘s trusted bullpen with a 2.92 ERA last year while covering a heavy workload of 60-games. But Ramirez had become a liability this year with an horrific 6.33 ERA, and that didn’t include nine inherited runners that scored.
“We’re walking too many guys. Hitting batters. Falling behind. Pitching 2-0, 1-0, 3-1. You’re not going to win very many games like that. So we’ve got to clean that up. We got to play defense again. … Limit our walks. … The walks are going to kill us every time — we have to start pounding the strike zone again.”— Martinez said after the game to the media
A source told us that Rizzo and Martinez did not see eye-to-eye on this move to DFA the 33 year old right-hander. We were told that Rizzo made the decision for Martinez who spoke to the media last night that Ramirez’s issues were mechanical and over-thinking things, and seemed to indicate that they would work on fixing him.
“[Erasmo Ramirez] is in a funk. He’s in a funk. I think it’s mechanical. We’re trying to figure some things out. He’s flying open. …. He’s a big piece of our bullpen especially in that fifth and sixth inning. … He’s trying really hard right now so we just got to get him calmed down now. … He’s just over-thinking things.”— Martinez on Erasmo Ramirez
With the DFA, that won’t happen unless Ramirez somehow accepts a minor league assignment with the Nats.
“I don’t want to hit anybody. I don’t want to walk anybody. That’s not me. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just not me in that moment. Stuff is going the wrong way — but I need to fix it. I will fix it. I will work for it, and I’ll be better.”— Ramirez said after the game to the media
The Nats 40-man roster is down to 38-players which will give Rizzo some extra flexibility for moves in the future, since Abbott was already on the 40-man roster.