Results tagged ‘ Wilkin Ramirez ’

Tigers make minor trade, trade Ramirez

The Tigers’ big activity at the nonwaiver trade deadline was about as minor as they could get. Detroit traded outfielder Wilkin Ramirez to Atlanta for a player to be named later or cash.

The Tigers must choose the player or the cash by Nov. 20.

You may remember that the Tigers designated Ramirez for assignment on Wednesday to make room for Jhonny Peralta on the 40-man roster. Detroit had 10 days to try to trade him, but they got it done in three.

Thus, Ramirez went from the starting lineup in the Futures Game to the waiver wire to a new organization in less than three weeks. He entered Saturday with a .230 average between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie, homering 19 times with 56 RBIs. He also has struck out 144 times in 400 plate appearances.

For all the ups and downs of Ramirez’s career over seven minor-league seasons, he’s still just 24 years old. A change of scenery could do him some good.

Upbeat outlook for Wilkin Ramirez

Wilkin Ramirez arguably had reason to hang his head wonder about his place after starting the season back in Double-A and watching fellow Tigers outfield prospects Brennan Boesch and Casper Wells get their shots in the big leagues. Instead, he’s happy for Boesch to be breaking through and using it as proof that youngsters can get an opportunity in Detroit.

Likewise, Ramirez could’ve treated his second Futures Game appearance in three years as a repeat trip. But he looks at it as a new vote of confidence from Tigers management.
“I started my year in Double-A,” Ramirez said. “When you move backwards, you have that little thing in your mind. Getting invited here, it gives you a lot of confidence. I thank the Tigers for that. I feel pretty good.
“I want to thank the Tigers and whoever made the decision to pick me to be here. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I feel very good. At the beginning, I felt left out. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I’m happy to be here.”
Ramirez went 1-for-2 with a single and a fly out in Sunday’s Futures Game. It was a midseason honor in what has been a mixed bag of a season for the 24-year-old multi-tooled prospect.
His athleticism has always wowed. As team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski put it a couple weeks ago, when the Futures Game rosters came out, “He’s the type of guy that you’re always hoping that at some point he’s just going to put it all together. If he does, then he has the chance to be a star.”
His stats reflect the potential. His strikeout totals are astounding, 128 of them over 356 plate appearances between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. Yet exactly half of his 76 hits have gone for extra bases — 18 home runs, 14 doubles and six triples.
“Especially at the beginning of the year, I was more aggressive, because I think I was trying to do too much,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t really want to be there. I wasn’t expecting to be there, so I wanted to do the best I can, so I was trying too hard.”
An early-season vote of support from Erie manager Phil Nevin, he said, gave him a boost. Renewed confidence from Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish and hitting coach Leon Durham have helped, too.
He admits he has a problem with strikeouts, but he’s trying to focus on making sure his swings are productive. He swung at all three pitches he saw Sunday, and put two of them in play.
He doesn’t look at the Tigers roster picture as an opportunity passed up. He looks at Boesch as inspiration.
“You know what? I’m so happy for Boesch, that he’s doing that good,” Ramirez said. “Every at-bat, every home run that he hits, it makes me feel good myself. Boesch works so hard. Boesch played at Double-A last year, and that showed a lot of people that young people can go to the big leagues and do very very good. And that made me so happy that he’s doing that.”

Wilkin Ramirez is heading to Erie

When the Tigers optioned Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, it furthered a logjam in the Mud Hens outfield, which already had Casper Wells, Ryan Strieby, Brennan Boesch and Wilkin Ramirez. The plan was to rotate four outfielders between the three starting spots and the designated hitter.

Once Thomas was sent down, something to happen. Now we know: Wilkin Ramirez has been transferred to Double-A Erie.

Ramirez isn’t simply repeating the same level in back-to-back years. He spent all of last season at Triple-A Toledo except for a couple one-day stints in Detroit. Essentially, Ramirez is repeating a level he completed in 2008.

UPDATE @4:30pm: Team president/GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed the move is a matter of clearing up the logjam in Toledo. He also said Ramirez will play center field most of the time there, continuing a move to center that began in winter ball.

Clearing up Wilkin's situation

Just wanted to clear up the situation with Wilkin Ramirez, who was suggested in some published circles this week as a potential successor to Curtis Granderson in center field even though he played just two games this summer in center and a little bit of winter ball.

The winter ball assignment with Licey of the Dominican League came with a preference from the Tigers that he get some time in center field. However, it was more of an exploratory move than anything with a set plan, and it wasn’t full time.

“We were hoping for him to get a chance to play center field,” Tigers player development director. “He’s such an athlete. I don’t know what’s the next step.”

Ramirez was playing regularly in the early stages of the Dominican season, but he has been in more of a late inning or reserve role lately. That isn’t a surprise. A lot of winter ball teams in the Dominican rely on younger players early on until more established players join in later. By playoff time in January, the rosters tend to include some bigger-name Dominican players.

There’s a roster flexibility advantage for the Tigers if Ramirez can eventually play or fill in at all three outfield spots. He should have the athleticism to do it, but the question is whether he has the instincts.

Baseball America: Tigers farm system in bottom half

It’s a familiar refrain over the last couple years since the Miguel Cabrera trade, but given the coming need for prospects, it’s worth a mention. Baseball America’s John Manuel wrote a piece for SI.com ranking the best and worst farm systems, and while he didn’t assign a specific number to the Tigers, he ranked them in the 16-25 range. It wasn’t among the five worst — that belongs to the Astros, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Nationals — but it wasn’t in the top half, either.

“Top arms are green, and organization overall lacks athleticism.”

Ouch, moreso about the latter than the former. Given the Tigers’ well-known struggles developing position prospects, however, it isn’t necessarily a surprise, Wilkin Ramirez and Casper Wells aside.

Look for more tomorrow on tigers.com on how the Tigers farm system factors into their dealings.

Ramirez to replace Granderson? Probably not

The continued trade interest in Curtis Granderson raises the question of who would replace him in center field. But contrary to published speculation, Wilkin Ramirez isn’t the answer.

From a pure athletic standpoint, Ramirez might be the closest Detroit has to Granderson that’s Major League ready. He was arguably Detroit’s fastest player as a spot player over the summer and late-season pinch-runner. His power potential is big, to the point that he would project more for an RBI producer.

He is not, however, a center fielder. He never has been, save for two games in center at Triple-A Toledo this past season and some time there in winter ball for Licey this offseason. The Tigers considered moving him to center in the lower levels of the farm system once they determined he was not a third baseman, but team officials felt he was a better fit in left field, where he made 11 errors in 95 games this year. The physical tools are there, but his instincts are a work in progress.

So if not Ramirez, then who? Ryan Raburn was Granderson’s backup in center for most of the year, and started there on a few occasions when Granderson had a game off, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a full-time center fielder. Clete Thomas was a regular in center at Erie and Toledo in 2007 and ’08, and maybe could fit in a platoon, but he was overmatched at the plate down the stretch this year. Prospect Casper Wells has the ability to play center field in the big leagues, according to some, and he definitely has the desire. Whether he could do it every day is another question; he would have to prove himself to the Tigers to do it.

Ideally, a Granderson trade would bring back a center-field prospect in return, but given the teams with reported interest, that doesn’t appear likely.

The other option would be to add a veteran center fielder, maybe someone like Mike Cameron, with whom the Tigers were linked in trade talk last summer as someone to play CF against lefties. That, however, would beg the question: If a Granderson trade frees up money to fill other needs, what good is it if you have to spend money to replace Granderson?

Granderson sits, Ramirez plays

As expected, Curtis Granderson is sitting against another left-handed starter, this one Lenny DiNardo. Wilkin Ramirez gets the start in left field. Raburn moves to center and leadoff, which worked well on Tuesday.

TIGERS

  1. Raburn, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thames, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Ramirez, LF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Jarrod Washburn

Granderson sits, Ramirez starts

With a left-hander on the mound and extra right-handed bats here thanks to the September call-ups, manager Jim Leyland took the opportunity to give Curtis Granderson the night off. Ryan Raburn started in center field, with Wilkin Ramirez getting the start in left. It sounds a lot like Aug. 4, when the Tigers called up Ramirez for a day and rested Granderson that night.

TIGERS

  1. Ryan Raburn, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Marcus Thames, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Rick Porcello

INDIANS

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Luis Valuena, 2B
  7. Andy Marte, 1B
  8. Michael Brantley, LF
  9. Wyatt Toregas, C

P: Aaron Laffey

Ramirez batting third at DH

If Wednesday is the only game Wilkin Ramirez plays in a Tigers uniform before heading back to Triple-A Toledo, he’s going to make the most of it. The Tigers are certainly trying to get the most out of him. He’s batting third in the Tigers order tonight, between Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera.

One reason behind the move, manager Jim Leyland said, is that they don’t have any obvious candidates. Clete Thomas is out with left-hander Matt Harrison pitching, and Magglio is away from the team. Plus, Leyland said, Ramirez brings speed, which Leyland has been able to use with Thomas up there. Ramirez usually batted third in the Mud Hens lineup, and he was tied for the International League lead in stolen bases at the time he was called up.

You’ll also notice Brandon Inge batting fifth for the first time this year. His other games have been in the sixth (9 games), seventh (19) or eighth (7) spots.

In other news, Leyland laid out more of a game plan for his bullpen today. After Bobby Seay and Brandon Lyon each got a big out in the seventh inning Tuesday night, Leyland said he wants to use both of them in that inning with a lead moving forward. Which one he uses depends on how the opposing lineup looks between lefties and righties. He also said he’ll mix in Ryan Perry on occasion when Lyon isn’t available.

“I think Brandon Lyon’s really coming on,” Leyland said.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ramirez, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Inge, 3B
  6. Raburn, RF
  7. Laird, C
  8. Anderson, LF
  9. Everett, SS

P: Justin Verlander

RANGERS

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. David Murphy, LF
  3. Michael Young, 3B
  4. Hank Blalock, DH
  5. Marlon Byrd, CF
  6. Nelson Cruz, RF
  7. Chris Davis, 1B
  8. Taylor Teagarden, C
  9. Elvis Andrus, SS

P: Matt Harrison

Santiago starts again, no Ramirez yet

When Ramon Santiago is hitting like this, sometimes you have to ride it out. That, plus the chance to give Adam Everett a day off coupled with Monday’s off-day, put Santiago in Tuesday’s lineup at shortstop. You might remember he started Sunday at second base for Placido Polanco.

Wilkin Ramirez is here, but he won’t be in tonight’s starting lineup against right-hander Brandon McCarthy. Look for him to be the DH Wednesday versus Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison. That could be his only game action of this stint, but Leyland said he might start him Thursday against Kevin Millwood.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Larish, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Anderson, LF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Dontrelle Willis

RANGERS

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus, SS
  3. Michael Young, 3B
  4. Andruw Jones, DH
  5. Marlon Byrd, CF
  6. David Murphy, LF
  7. Nelson Cruz, RF
  8. Chris Davis, 3B
  9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

P: Brandon McCarthy

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