Phillies: Ramon Rosso impressive at Dominican Winter League
By Matt Rappa
Phillies right-hander Ramon Rosso has been dominant so far in the Dominican Winter League.
While the Philadelphia Phillies are well into their offseason, some of their organization’s players are still playing professionally, such as in the 2020-21 Dominican Winter League.
Among those players include right-handed pitcher Ramon Rosso, who combined between six relief appearances and one start as a rookie this past season, yielded nine hits, seven runs, one home run, and eight walks through 9 2/3 innings pitched.
Rosso’s numbers so far for the Aguilas Cibaenas in Dominican Winter League action have been much better. Spanning five appearances and four starts, totaling 19 innings pitched, he has allowed just seven hits, one earned run (a solo home run), and three walks, while striking out 20 batters — en route to an impressive 0.47 ERA and 0.53 WHIP ratio.
During his most recent start on Saturday, December 5, Rosso tossed five innings and allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk, while striking out seven of his 18 batters faced.
While Rosso struggled in the majors in 2020, he did strike out 11 of his 46 batters faced through 9 2/3 frames. Could his success so far this late fall down in his native country — primarily as a starting pitcher — translate to the majors in 2021? The Phillies should at least give him a look at spring training in a couple of months.
As of now, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin are the only locks in the Phillies rotation. At least Spencer Howard and Vince Velasquez will look to grab the vacant fourth and fifth spots, but there surely will be other names in the mix, such as non-roster invitee signings; potential free-agent or trade acquisitions; or even other internal candidates, such as Rosso.
The Phillies would prefer Rosso to develop into a strong, back-end-of-the-rotation arm. One of the keys to any successful big-league team is having a farm system that can develop talent that finds success at the highest level in the game. Doing so would allow them to allocate their funds toward other areas of need, and ultimately stay under the luxury tax.
Perhaps Rosso is the perfect under-the-radar rotation candidate heading into spring training that the Phillies exactly needed.