After drafting the seventeen year old in 2017, Heliot Ramos made his big league debut for the San Francisco Giants in the third game of the 2022 season on Sunday.
Ramos, who was called up earlier than most anticipated when bullpen arm John Brebbia went on the Bereavement List, started in left field and went 2 for 3 with two singles, a run scored and a strike out, in the Giants 3-2 rubber match win over the Miami Marlins.
His first hit came in the 2nd inning with two outs off a Trevor Rogers’ 0-1 change-up that Ramos shot back up the middle at 107 mph deflecting off second baseman’s Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s glove for a single. Ramos showed off his speed, scoring on Mauricio Dubón’s subsequent double that buried itself in the left field corner.
Luke Williams, recently acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies, flashed his new at-bat as well, flaring a single to right that brought Dubón in to score. The Giants scored their third and what would end up being the winning run on a sacrifice fly by DH Wilmer Flores in the 3rd.
Anthony DeSclafani, notching his first start in 2022, played Frogger all afternoon with base path traffic allowing 8 hits, 1 BB and 1 HBP over 3.2 innings. DeSclafani’s reputation as a strike thrower preceded him with Miami bats swinging early and often all afternoon. Working out of the stretch, Disco was able to limit the damage to 2 runs with weak contact and 5 strikeouts.
After giving up back-to-back singles in the 1st inning, DeSclafani found the fire escape by baiting Jesús Sánchez to swing over a curve in the dirt before freezing following bat Jesús Aguilar with a 95 cutter painting the outside of the plate for a called strike three. The next batter Avisaíl García flared out to second for the final out.
Though pitch count pinched him early, Disco’s veteran performance out of the stretch was commendable and kept the Giants in the lead before the bullpen stepped in for a scoreless 5.1 innings.
After a bases loaded HBP in the 4th, manager Gabe Kapler replaced DeSclafani with lefty Jarlín García who retired Jesús Sánchez on one pitch and ultimately went 2 innings, collecting 2 strike outs. Zach Littell and Tyler Rogers worked their way through the eighth before Dominic Leone, who gave up a home run to catcher Jacob Stallings on Friday, closed out a formidable Miami trio: K-ing both Chisholm and Stallings before popping up Jorge Soler for the game’s final out.
After facing two right-handed Miami starting pitchers, Gabe Kapler rolled out the righty platoon on Sunday against lefty Trevor Rogers. Ramos and Dubón and Slater covered the outfield from left to right, while Luke Williams helmed third and Ruf showed off his glove at first. Curt Casali made his first start behind the plate. The lone lefty at-bats came from SS Brandon Crawford and a late-inning pinch for Mike Yastrzemski.
I personally like the move to start Williams at third and have Wilmer Flores DH. Decorum would dictate that seniority would get the Opening Day nod at third, but after a fielding error on Friday, followed by a Saturday in which he botched two opportunities to get Jon Berti (the eventual deciding run) out on Saturday, Flores role on this team is more batman than glove.
Williams also turned a slick 5 - 4 - 3 double play to get Littell out of a 7th inning 1st-and-3rd jam.
Ruf, though not as graceful as an extended Jazz Chisholm, held his own at first. A quick high throw, but one that was in Crawford’s universe, nabbed Jesús Sánchez at second in the fourth; while an unassisted double play on a nifty catch-and-tag that caught Avisaíl García diving back to first made for an easy 8th for Tyler Rogers.
I can see Ruf and Flores alternating first base and DH roles in match-ups similar to Sunday’s game.
Ultimately, Sunday’s game was not an offensive eruption, but we did see meaningful production from the bottom third of the line-up. Ruf, who took home a 1 for 4, was twice AT&T’ed (sounds better than Oracle’d) by colder air and wind conditions. Both Dubon and Flores hit balls that fell just short of the wall in leftish center. Take heart! The spring bats are budding.
First—this first inning catch by the Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. was incredible. Miller and Krukow talked about this on the broadcast, but second basemen don’t get enough credit. For Chisholm to reel this in: a 105 MPH liner for the first ball-in-play of the game. Just incredible. And yeah, he’s a little flashy and us Bumgarner-ites don’t like that, but if he was on the Giants, everyone’s dog in Mountain View would be named Jazz.
Second—I don’t think this was an intended result from using the new PitchCom system for calling pitches with a runner on second, but look at this screen shot of Anthony DeSclafani here.
These are high stress, high leverage situations with a runner on base in which Disco has to make some crucial pitches to get out of trouble. This is where baseball’s mental game comes in. These are when the great, primal moments of man-with-ball vs. man-with-bat take place. But instead of Disco staring daggers at the plate, snarling through spit and tobacco juice and chewed sunflower seed shells as he shakes off pitch after pitch, we have him plugging his ears with his glove trying to hear Casali’s call like he’s on the phone with his mom.