In the past week, we’ve seen quite a bit on the good news of how Pedro Martinez reached out to Edwar Ramirez this off season.
From Ed Price on May 19th:
One day last winter, while Edwar Ramirez was working out at a field in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, David Ortiz came up to him.
“Pedro wants to talk to you,” Ortiz said.
As in Pedro Martinez.
“I’ve seen you pitch,” Martinez said, as Ramirez recalled yesterday. “and you’ve got an incredible changeup. You don’t know what you have.”
It was the changeup that enabled Ramirez, a right-hander, to climb from an independent league team in Edinburg, Texas, to the majors in less than a year. But Martinez’s advice to Ramirez: Use your fastball more.
From the Journal News on May 21st:
“That’s good when somebody like Pedro sees you and says I want to talk to you,” Ramirez said. “He told me, ‘You don’t have any idea what kind of changeup you have. Don’t use it too much because sometimes the hitters see too much of the changeup and it’s better for the hitter to hit the ball.’ ”
Martinez wanted him to throw more fastballs and even worked with him on a cutter. But the three-time Cy Young winner wasn’t the only one who wanted Ramirez to throw more fastballs and not rely so much on the change. Pitching coach Dave Eiland gave him the same message and has worked with him on his mechanics.
And, from the Daily News last night:
Ramirez earned the win Sunday, taking over for Chien-Ming Wang with the Yanks down 5-2 in the seventh and pitching 1-2/3 scoreless innings to set the stage for the Bombers’ 6-5 comeback victory over the Mariners at the Stadium. It was Ramirez’s 11th appearance of the season since being called up from Triple-A on April 29, and in 12-2/3 innings, he has yet to allow a run.
“Edwar was real big,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s pitched very well for us.”
The difference? “I have much more confidence now, much more,” Ramirez said. “I think because Dave (Eiland, his pitching coach in Triple-A) is here and I can work with him five or six days a week, that helps a lot. And also because of what I have learned from working with Mariano (Rivera) and Pedro (Martinez), I am much more confident now.”
Ramirez said he got a lot of encouragement from Martinez, the veteran Mets righty and fellow Dominican, while working out in Santo Domingo in the offseason. As Eiland had done, Martinez told Ramirez that his changeup was special, but that he relied too heavily on it and wasn’t effectively using his fastball to set it up. Most importantly, Martinez encouraged him to take advantage of his position in the Yankee bullpen.
“He told me I should listen to whatever Mariano told me,” Ramirez said. “And he said to work every day with my pitching coach.”
“He’s throwing strikes – we are working on that and he is doing that real good,” Rivera said. “When he gets in trouble is when he doesn’t throw his fastball. Now, he’s throwing his fastball and with that, his changeup is more effective.”
Maybe, just like they play “Enter Sandman” for Mo Rivera when he comes into a game, the Yankees can play “Canned Heat” for Edwar when he comes in to pitch?
Now, that would be cool.