Ramirez Getting Back To Basics

Ramirez has 20 K's in last 17.2 innings

Right-handed pitcher Jose Ramirez was demoted to Charleston after having difficulty with his pitching in Tampa. The development of his slider and the inconsistencies in his delivery could be the deciding factors of if and when he gets promoted again.

A native of Yuguate, Dominican Republic, Jose Ramirez was acquired by the Yankees as a free agent in 2007. He played in the Gulf Coast League for a couple years and in 2010 he was on the Charleston RiverDogs' roster.

He had since worked his way up to high-A class Tampa where he started the 2011 season, however, his season in Tampa was shortened when he was bumped back down to Charleston on May 8th.

"I didn't feel that comfortable there," stated Ramirez through a translator about his brief stint pitching in high-A ball. "I didn't have much confidence in Tampa so that's probably what was happening."

Since being back in Charleston, Ramirez has been working in the bullpen trying to get his pitches up and down in the zone. He has exhibited improvements already as he threw 11 strikeouts in the game on June 1st against the Rome Braves.

"I had Ramirez back two years ago in GCL," said Riverdogs' pitching coach Carlos Chantres. "We're starting to see life of that again like when he was really young.

"His arm angle has gotten higher, he's staying back better. We worked on some delivery techniques that he had flaws in and he's starting to be the same guy that he was when I first saw him."

Ramirez attributed his successful game against the Braves to his changeup being on point, but his slider still needs further development. The slider has been a constant source of concern for him on the mound.

He said that he did not feel comfortable throwing his slider during games while he played at the higher level in Tampa. His time in Charleston has allowed him to work on his confidence throwing the pitch in game situations.

"In bullpens and flat work out there it's coming around," mentioned Chantres of Ramirez's slider. "It's just that he doesn't have the confidence to throw it out in the game. Every now and then you'll see flashes of it out in a game, but it's not there yet, it's still coming around."

Ramirez currently has a 4.15 ERA with the Charleston Riverdogs, winning three of the five games that he has started. He hoped that fixing the angle of his arm and continuing to develop his slider could help him be more successful this season and get him to the next level.

Chantres believed that if Ramirez could develop his slider to a consistent pitch that it would speed up the process of moving back up to Tampa. However, he was more concerned with getting Ramirez's delivery in check to ensure a successful season no matter which league Ramirez is pitching in.

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