Indians designate Neil Ramirez for assignment

May 18th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- With the Indians’ bullpen posting the second-best ERA in the Majors so far this season, Neil Ramirez’s 5.40 ERA made him the bottom man on the totem pole.

The team needed to make a move in order to open a spot on the 25-man roster for Saturday’s starter, Adam Plutko, resulting in Ramirez getting designated for assignment.

“Just feel like Neil had his moments for sure where he could really got hot,” manager Terry Francona said. “It was just hard for him to sustain it.”

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

According to Statcast, Ramirez was in the 80th percentile in fastball velocity, averaging 94.8 mph with a .229 opponent batting average against 178 heaters. But his slider, thrown 100 times this year, yielded a .462 average against him.

“I have no doubt that I bet you somebody will claim him because he still throws mid-90s, he’s got a breaking ball,” Francona said. “We just thought we had other guys ahead of him.”

Division race

Entering Saturday, the Indians sat 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the American League Central. Does Francona keep tabs on the division race? He says he does, but it’s not on purpose.

“I mean I get a stat pack every day,” Francona said. “Today, I just tore out what I wanted to use for today. There’s days where I look at it. I look at the National League, too. But, I mean I feel like we’re more competing with ourselves right now. You start counting games in May, man that can make for a long season.”

This date in Indians history

2013: With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Mark Reynolds gets the job done with a walk-off RBI fielder’s choice as the Tribe beat Seattle, 5-4.