Andrew Bailey's injury is Edubray Ramos' well-deserved opportunity


SAN FRANCISCO – Andrew Bailey’s strained left hamstring turned into Edubray Ramos’ well-deserved opportunity in the Phillies’ bullpen.
Ramos, a 23-year-old right-hander, was called up from Triple A when Bailey was placed on the disabled list Friday.
“I never imagined this,” the Venezuela native said as he stood in the dugout at AT&T Park, the picturesque home of the San Francisco Giants. “I just want to take advantage of this opportunity.”
In a sense, Ramos has already taken advantage of an opportunity. He was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a 17-year-old in 2010. He pitched poorly in the Venezuelan Summer League that year and was let go after the season. He was out of pro ball for two years, even played some softball, before the Phillies offered him a minor-league contract. His signing bonus?
“Nothing,” he said.
Ramos showed improvement over two seasons in the Phillies’ Venezuelan academy, earned his way to the U.S. and never stopped improving. The Phillies placed him on their 40-man roster last fall. He pitched brilliantly at Double A Reading and Triple A Lehigh Valley before learning of his promotion Thursday. Lehigh Valley pitching coach Dave Lundquist delivered the news through Ramos’ teammate, Edward Mujica, a fellow Venezuelan.
“I couldn’t believe it, especially because Mujica was translating for me,” Ramos said through Diego Ettedgui, the Phillies’ major-league translator. “I thought he was fooling me.”
Ramos throws four pitches. He has a power fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. In 38 2/3 innings between Double A and Triple A this season, he had a 1.16 ERA. He walked just four batters, gave just 24 hits and struck out 41. He allowed just one homer.
Phillies officials believe Ramos has the makings of a future closer – he saved 10 games this season in the minors – and manager Pete Mackanin said he would not hesitate to use Ramos in high-leverage situations.
Ramos has the talent to stick around for a while. This is the chance he’d been waiting for, the one he did not think would even come when he was out of baseball and painting automobiles with his father in Venezuela and cleaning spills in a food-processing plant.
“The Phillies gave me a chance and here I am,” Ramos said with a big smile.
Bailey’s hamstring strain is not serious. In fact, he didn't believe a DL stint was necessary because he thinks he could be back in a day or two. But Mackanin said the team could not afford to go short in the bullpen for even a couple of days because the bullpen has been used heavily recently.
“I think I would have been all right for tomorrow, but that’s my opinion,” Bailey said. “It’s not a move personally I like, but it’s best for the team, I guess. That’s most important.”

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