Twins claim reliever Ramirez off waivers

Right-hander has pitched with Cubs, Brewers this season

Twins claim reliever Ramirez off waivers

ANAHEIM -- It's been hard for Twins reliever Neil Ramirez to find a place he can call home lately.

Yet it was at his childhood home of Virginia Beach, Va. where the right-hander received a call from Twins general manager Terry Ryan on Sunday.

He had been claimed off waivers by Minnesota, his third big league team within the last month. The Cubs, who Ramirez broke into the Majors with in 2014, designated him for assignment on May 21. After claiming him off waivers, the Brewers gave him the same treatment on June 8.

Now, Ramirez is looking to stick with yet another ball club.

"It's been a whirlwind these last couple weeks, but I'm just trying to make the most of this opportunity here," he said.

Ramirez, 27, posted a 5.79 ERA in 10 appearances in the Majors this season with the Cubs and Brewers. In 79 career appearances, he has a 2.42 ERA and three saves. Despite his movement, Ramirez said he's "not that far" from being a productive reliever in the Majors.

"You just have got to remain focused and just trust the process," he said. "I feel like the work I've put in has got me ready, and I just want to remember that and be confident and trust in my ability."

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's had interest in Ramirez since the Cubs designated him for assignment. While Ramirez's specific role has yet to be decided, Molitor said a fresh arm will definitely help out a tired Twins bullpen that has thrown the second-most innings in the American League (216 1/3).

"The only thing that's held [Ramirez] back has been command issues throughout his career," Molitor said. "His walk-strikeout ratio has been good in the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues. His velocity is down a little bit on his fastball, but the slider is still really effective against righties and lefties. I'm just going to try to blend him in."

Worth noting

• Molitor said shortstop Danny Santana would begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Monday. Santana has not played since injuring his left hamstring on May 30 against Oakland.

• Twins closer Glen Perkins will receive a second opinion on his left shoulder on Tuesday in California before flying back to Minnesota. Perkins has not pitched in the big leagues since April 10, leaving much of the closer duties to Kevin Jepsen.

• Molitor said third baseman Miguel Sano has had "gradually small increments of improvement" on his strained left hamstring, but is still not close to beginning a rehab assignment. He has not played since May 31.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.