Ramirez takes on fight against PEDs

Right-hander reps Angels on Taylor Hooton Foundation board

May 19th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- While Angels right-hander continues to progress with his rehab from Tommy John surgery, he is also serving as one of the members on the advisory board of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which is widely acknowledged as the leader in the advocacy against the use of performance-enhancing substances by the youth of America.

Ramirez isn’t currently with the team, as he’s rehabbing in Arizona, but he is proudly representing the Angels on the THF board, which includes a record 42 players this year, including one from each team. He replaced Matt Shoemaker, who previously represented the Halos but is now with the Blue Jays.

“We are truly honored to have JC join an incredible group of Major League players who have stepped up to serve as positive role models,” said Taylor Hooton Foundation president Donald Hooton, Jr. “We’re also very proud of the support that Major League Baseball and these elite athletes provide in sending a positive message to kids that they, too, can accomplish all of their dreams without the use of drugs. Millions of middle- and high- school kids are using appearance and performance-enhancing substances to look their best and achieve their physical goals. The participation of these players in our efforts to educate young people that using these substances is not the right choice cannot be overstated.”

The board was created in 2014, and this is the fourth straight year that each team has a representative. The players taken are part of the organization's campaign titled "All Me." Members also take part in the organization's educational activities in the community to talk about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances. To date, the program has reached more than two million people, including a Latin American outreach program.

Ramirez, a native of Nicaragua, is expected to rejoin the Angels in June. He’s been pitching in Arizona without any issues after undergoing surgery last year on April 17. He’s scheduled to reach 45 pitches in a start in an extended spring camp outing on Monday, as the Halos are stretching him out as a starter to keep their options open once he’s healthy enough to return.

Ramirez, 30, will give the Angels much-needed pitching depth, as he has experience as both a starter and a reliever. Ramirez had a 4.15 ERA with 105 strikeouts and 49 walks in 147 1/3 innings in 2017. He made just two starts last year before tearing his ulnar collateral ligament.