AJ Ramos blew his first save with the Mets, while facing his former team, during last night's 5-4 loss to the Marlins in Miami.
Ramos entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead, but allowed three runs on five hits, including back-to-back, two-out RBI singles that tied the game and sent it to extra innings...
"My stuff hasn't been as crisp as normal. I think I was maybe a little too amped up today," said Ramos, who was acquired from the Marlins in late July for two low-level prospects. "They just beat me, plan and simple. There are no excuses. They just played better than me today."
In six seasons with Miami, he had a 2.82 ERA and 92 saves in 111 chances, including 20 in 22 opportunities this season. During 19 appearances this season with the Mets, he has a 5.09 ERA (4.63 FIP), 1.62 WHIP and seven saves in eight opportunities.
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): Last night was ugly, there's no two ways around it. That said, I'm not worried about Ramos, especially as it pertains to next season. His peripheral stats with the Mets are in line with what he had been doing for Miami, and -- more importantly -- they're overall better than his numbers from last season.
There is a reason he was a hot commodity during this past summer's trade deadline, as he was pursued by the Nationals, Cubs and Red Sox. He looked bad last night, but the Mets are still better off having him under contract through next season than not having him at all. It's going to help a ton to enter this winter knowing a reliever of his caliber is already in the mix, which is what made acquiring him (in a losing season) such a smart move by Alderson.
And remember, Ramos wasn't acquired to be the closer, even though that is the role he filled in Miami. Next season, I assume he'll be considered Jeurys Familia's set-up man, filling the job left vacant by Addison Reed, who the Mets can still try to re-sign this winter as a free agent if they're interested.
The concern with AJ, which we saw in bold print last night, is that historically he's had a fairly high walk rate, which probably means he'll frequently flirt with disaster and give us heart attacks in high-leverage situations. But, in today's game, he's hardly alone in this reality...
Maggie Wiggin: A big league reliever with closer experience, Ramos was brought in with the expectation that he will be a lock for late-inning relief in 2018. Despite last night, he has mostly lived up to expectations since becoming a Met, while also helping to stabilize the bullpen after losing Reed.
Ramos still walks more batters than I'd like to see (nearly five per nine innings, in line with his career mark), but his strikeout rate is excellent and helps limit his total baserunners. If he can lower his home run rate -- currently double his career mark -- the July trade could be a steal.