Ramirez settling in with Royals
Right-handed reliever earns spot on Opening Day roster
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Reliever Ramon Ramirez arrived on Thursday and settled into uniform No. 56 and a spot on the Royals' Opening Day roster.
His stay in the Royals' Arizona clubhouse will be brief. After Thursday's afternoon game, the club heads to Milwaukee for the last two Spring Training games.
Ramirez, who'll pitch at the back end of the bullpen, was dealt to the Royals by the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named on Wednesday.
"It was a surprise to me," Ramirez said. "I don't think about trades or things like that. I'm just working hard."
Working hard enough to have a 1.42 ERA in nine games with 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings this spring for the Rockies.
"He's a guy with a power arm and somebody who's a competitor," general manager Dayton Moore said. "We felt we needed to acquire somebody with power from the right side to go along with [Leo] Nunez and some other guys we have in there, and we just think it's a good fit for us right now."
Scouting reports on Ramirez indicate that he's a maximum-effort right-hander with a 92-94 mph fastball and an above-average changeup and slider.
"I think my best pitch is a fastball," Ramirez said. "I like to throw a changeup and that's a pitch I feel good with."
Ramirez had elbow problems last season, when he ended the year on the disabled list.
"I'm OK. I feel good," he said. "Right now, I feel great."
Moore is satisfied that Ramirez is healthy.
"We've seen him pitch and perform all spring. His velocity's been good and he's had some success, so it's a good move for us at this point," Moore said.
Ramirez made his Royals debut in the sixth inning on Thursday against the Texas Rangers and retired all three batters he faced with one strikeout.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.