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Pirates All 40: Can Yohan Ramirez Make Opening-Day Bullpen?

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This is one in a series of stories looking at members of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40-man roster.

The third time appeared to be the charm for Yohan Ramirez – and possibly the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When the Pirates recalled the right-handed reliever from Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 3, they became Ramirez’s third major league team of the 2022 season.

Ramirez made the Seattle Mariners’ opening-day roster but was designated for assignment on May 13. The Cleveland Guardians acquired him three days later then called him up to make one appearance on June 24 before also DFAing him.

The Pirates then claimed Ramirez off waivers and optioned him to Indianapolis.

Ramirez wound up making 22 relief appearances for the Pirates and had a 3-1 record with one save, a 3.67 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He also had 21 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Ramirez allowed multiple runs just three times with none of those games coming in his last 12 appearances. In his last six outings of the season, he went 3-0 with the save and a 1.67 ERA.

In the final series of the season against the National League Central champion St. Louis Cardinals, Ramirez had a couple of highlights.

Ramirez worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth on Oct. 3 and he got the win when the Pittsburgh Pirates walked off the Cardinals in the bottom of the inning. Two days later, he pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save in the series finale.

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That gave Yohan Ramirez six career saves, the first five coming with the Mariners. He had three during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season – a year in which Ramirez made his big-league debut – then two more in 2021.

Despite the strong finish, the 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic is not assured of being in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen on opening day in 2023.

It would appear six spots in the eight-man relief corps are likely filled with closer David Bednar, left-hander Jarlin Garcia and right-handers Robert Stephenson, Wil Crowe, Duane Underwood Jr. and Chase De Jong.

That leaves Ramirez to compete for what seems to be two open jobs along with Rule 5 lefty Jose Hernandez and righties Yerry De Los Santos, Colin Holderman, Dauri Moreta, Colin Selby and Tyler Chatwood among others.

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