By John Boyle
The Mariners made the roster move that everyone has been expecting this week, recalling pitcher Erasmo Ramirez from Tacoma to start Thursday’s game against Boston. Reliever Carter Capps was sent to Tacoma to make room on the roster.
Asked what he wants to see out of Ramirez today, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said, “Just give us a chance to win the ballgame. Obviously the last couple of days, they’ve knocked the ball around pretty good against us. So hopefully he can control the ballgame and give us a chance to win.
“It’s time for him to get up here and for us to see him, watch him start.”
The key to that, Wedge said, will be the command of his fastball: “Spot his fastball. He’s a command guy, not a control guy. He throws the ball around the plate where he wants to, when he does that, he has good arm speed, he has a live ball, then that puts him in position to use all of his other pitches. When he’s good, that’s what he does.”
As for Capps, who has struggled of late, posting a 17.18 ERA over his last seven appearances, Wedge said the 22-year-old needs some time to work things out in the minors.
“He’s only has like 68, 69 innings in the minor leagues,” Wedge said. “This guy got here so quick, and I think he earned a great deal. There are a couple of things mechanically we want him to work on, so it’s the right thing for him to go down right now and work on some things. It’s tough to come up here and work and try to make adjustments and compete at the same time. With him, he’ll go down, get himself righted, catch his breath a little bit, pitch some down there. He’s going to be a part of this thing, he’s just too big and has too much physical strength and arm speed and velocity. He’s still trying to put that slider, cutter away when he needs to and have confidence in the changeup, so he just needs to do that.
Asked about what mechanically they want Capps to do, Wedge said: “Just want him to get on top of the ball a little bit more, leverage the ball down hill. (Pitching coach Carl Willis) has him doing some things mechanically, which I’m not going to get into, so he can leverage the ball downhill a little bit more and be more consistent in his arm slot and his release point.”
And one other note, Nick Franklin is not in the lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game with quad soreness related to the knee injury he suffered last week when he fouled a ball off his knee. Wedge said he expects to have Franklin back Friday.
“It just affected his quad yesterday,” Wedge said. “He was just having trouble firing his quad yesterday, he’s able to fire it today. I’m hopeful he’ll be ready tomorrow.”