SEATTLE -- Erasmo Ramirez couldn't help but chuckle when he heard the news.The Mariners reacquired the right-handed pitcher, who broke in with the Mariners from 2012-14, in a trade for right-handed reliever Steve Cishek on Friday.The move provided a homecoming of sorts for Ramirez when he first arrived in the
SEATTLE -- Erasmo Ramirez couldn't help but chuckle when he heard the news.
The Mariners reacquired the right-handed pitcher, who broke in with the Mariners from 2012-14, in a trade for right-handed reliever Steve Cishek on Friday.
The move provided a homecoming of sorts for Ramirez when he first arrived in the clubhouse on Sunday morning.
"I didn't believe it," Ramirez said. "Like, it's kind of funny. I got traded to the same team and then got traded back. It's just funny when you hear the news. But at the same time, just happy to go to a friendly place. Kind of a familiar place."
Seattle cleared space on the active roster for Ramirez by optioning Cody Martin back to Triple-A Tacoma.
It's a familiar place, but not quite the same. There's a different manager (Scott Servais), general manager (Jerry Dipoto) and many different players -- Mike Zunino, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Hisashi Iwakuma, Felix Hernandez and James Paxton are the only teammates still on the team since his final year in Seattle in 2014).
Ramirez said he felt right at home in the Mariners' clubhouse, despite some new faces and a pool table that he said wasn't there previously. Seattle hopes he feels right at home in the rotation, too.
He's joining Seattle's starting rotation against the Rangers on Tuesday, but there are some question marks with his stamina. The Rays utilized him as a swingman between the rotation and the bullpen, but lately he's worked exclusively as a reliever. He hasn't started since June 21 and hasn't thrown more than 33 pitches in his last six outings.
He's also struggled as a starter this season compared to his work as a reliever. He owns a 6.05 ERA in eight starts this year while he has a 3.23 ERA in 18 relief appearances.
Ramirez said he learned a lot from being a swingman in Tampa Bay and how to attack hitters.
"I learned a lot about how tough it is to be in the bullpen, how tough it is to be a starter and how you need to execute pitches no matter which type of hitter you have in front of you," Ramirez said.
The Mariners are excited to see how he grew in Tampa Bay first hand.
"After facing him this year, it seems like he's grown a lot," Zunino said. "Developed maybe a little bit of a cutter, always had that good fastball and changeup. I'm excited to just get behind the plate and catch him again."
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Sunday.