Ramon Ramirez has a World Series ring with the San Francisco Giants, and after a disappointing season in 2012 with the New York Mets, he's back by the Bay looking for more.
But first, he needs to make the 25-man roster. And that's certainly no easy task.
Chad Gaudin, Mason Tobin and Scott Proctor were all signed by the Giants this offseason, and other relievers were promoted to the 40-man roster. While Gaudin and Proctor seem to be his only big threats, an impressive spring from any player could change that.
Gaudin was a Miami Marlin last year, and he posted a poor 4.54 ERA in 69.1 innings. Gaudin doesn't strike out many batters, and while he doesn't hand out tons of free passes, too many hitters reach base against him. It will take an impressive spring from him to overtake Ramirez, who has Bochy's trust, something that's huge in the Giant organization.
Proctor has postseason and league experience (1.50 career postseason ERA), but he hasn't exactly shined overall. His career ERA is 4.78, and in his last MLB year, 2011, he pitched over 40 innings and posted a horrific 7.14 ERA. Proctor has had some good seasons, and he recorded a 3.65 ERA and 18 holds in 2007, while his career record is 18-16.
Ramirez, on the other hand, is familiar with Bochy and the organization, and owns a decent 3.32 ERA, well over a run lower than the ERAs of Gaudin and Proctor. In the 2010 regular season over two months with the Giants, Ramirez posted a mind-boggling 0.67 ERA. In 2011, also with the Giants, his ERA was 2.62, another very good mark.
Right now, Ramirez is the favorite to make the roster, and while a lot can change before April, it's unlikely for Proctor or Gaudin to make the team. The Giants weren't expecting much from either, and they probably won't get much. Ramirez is an experienced pitcher who has good chemistry with the guys on the team, and that's huge on the Giants.
All of this should lead up to Ramirez making the team. However, in baseball, we never know. This is another big thing to watch for in spring training.