Even after the Marlins added several veteran late-inning relief options, A.J. Ramos will enter the season as the club’s closer, Manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday on Sirius XM, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
Mattingly also said that AJ Ramos will be the closer, as opposed to free agent pickup Brad Ziegler or anybody else.
Miami built a “super bullpen” this winter by signing free agents Janichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler to complement Ramos and David Phelps at the back-end of its relief core. Though Ziegler has experience closing games and Tazawa has the ability to do so, Ramos had enough success in 2016 to earn another opportunity.
Over 64.0 innings last season, Ramos pitched to a 2.81 ERA and 2.90 FIP. He’s saved 72 games between the last two seasons, and when he has pitched too many consecutive days, the Marlins can turn to either Ziegler or Tazawa.