OAKLAND -- Erasmo Ramirez wasn't as sharp in his final start of the season on Wednesday in a 6-5 walk-off loss to the A's, but the newly re-acquired right-hander clearly has pushed himself into the Mariners' rotation picture going into next year.
The 27-year-old from Nicaragua didn't get much help from his defense against the A's, as he finished up with a five-inning outing, allowing eight hits and five runs (three earned) in a 92-pitch performance.
"I think I didn't execute pitches," Ramirez said. "The mix wasn't the right locations. I missed the spots. I tried to go up and the ball stayed thigh high, so they were able to get good contact. And the plays were a little tough.
"We tried to make a diving catch and it's kind of tough. If you make it, it's a Top 10 play, but it didn't happen. After that, they just got good contact. They just showed up to swing at whatever I threw and they found holes."
Coming off an outstanding eight-inning start against the Indians, in which he struck out a career-high 10 and allowed just three hits and a run, this wasn't the punctuation mark Ramirez would have preferred to end his season.
But with no Minor League options, Ramirez definitely figures to be part of Seattle's plans next year, whether as a reliever or starter. And Ramirez has definitely shown he can be counted on as a solid starting possibility, posting a 3.35 ERA over his past nine games since getting stretched out following his conversion from Rays reliever to Seattle starter after his July 28 acquisition for Steve Cishek.
"What I showed is they have another option," Ramirez said. "If they want me to be back in the rotation, as least I showed them I can work and get my durability and be there. If they want me to go back to the 'pen, I'll just have to work and do my part, too. It's something that will have to wait until Spring Training and see what they decide."
Ramirez finished the season with a 5-6 record and 4.39 ERA in 37 overall appearances, including 19 starts, between Tampa Bay and Seattle. His versatility is one of the reasons general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired him in late July, but Mariners manager Scott Servais has seen enough to think the stocky right-hander belongs in the starting mix.
"I'm really happy that he's stepped forward as a guy that can be in our rotation going forward," Servais said. "I thought the one thing he didn't do today, in the past you saw him go more north-south in the strike zone. We had a new catcher, and that's part of it. But I'm really happy with how he's been throwing the ball for us. It wasn't his sharpest outing today, but overall it's been really good."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.