Is J.C. Ramirez Really the Angels’ Best Starter Now?

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Updated: May 6, 2017

The Angels are without Garrett Richards or Tyler Skaggs long-term. Cam Bedrosian and Andrew Bailey are expected to miss at least the next few weeks. Huston Street has yet to pitch this season. Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano were ruled out for the season before it even began. Matt Shoemaker has struggled to get it going. Jesse Chavez has mixed great starts with disastrous ones. Ricky Nolasco decided this was the season he wanted to start giving up home runs. In this mess of injuries and ineffectiveness, has J.C Ramirez stepped up to be the Halos’ best starter?

Now, this is all relative; being considered the best starter on the Angels right now is only slightly better than being the best pitcher on the San Diego Padres. Yes, it’s that bad, especially if you consider that the Angels are actually missing their top four starters in Richards, Skaggs, Tropeano, and Heaney. Anyway, looking at few stats, we can see that Ramirez has some of the best numbers of the Halos’ current starting five. His ERA+ of 92, 3.18 FIP, 1.157 WHIP, and thirty-one strikeouts are all team-best for the rotation, and 0.3 WAR is tied for the team lead for all pitcher. Yeah, like I said, it isn’t good. Ramirez is also averaging 10.1 strikeout per nine innings, which is actually pretty good, and has only allowed three home runs.

Given how terrible everything has been for the Angels’ pitching staff so far this season, Ramirez is a pleasant surprise. When the Angels announced they were going to stretch him out as a starter, it was definitely met with some skepticism. Ramirez pitched well in Spring, but barely lost out on a spot in the rotation and started the season in the bullpen. When Richards was hurt, however, Ramirez stepped in, and has pitched well since then. Ramirez has allowed three or less runs in three of his four starts and has struck out nine, seven, and nine in his last three starts, respectively. There are a lot of negatives surrounding the Angels’ pitching staff, but Ramirez has been a positive, for sure, and he just might be the Halos’ best starter right now.

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