A.J. Ramos continues to stay in touch with Steve Cishek.
“Just talked to him the other day, texted to just ask how he’s doing,” Ramos said of his former teammate, who now works the ninth inning for the Mariners.
At no point during their exchange did either mention the franchise record for consecutive saves, a record that belongs to Cishek and one that Ramos is now threatening.
That’s because Ramos, and perhaps Cishek as well, was unaware of it.
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” said Ramos, who entered Thursday having converted 32 consecutive save opportunities, one shy of the record held by Cishek.
Ramos ranks second in the majors with 23 saves, one behind the Mets’ Jeurys Familia. Add to that his nine saves in a row to finish out the 2015 season, and he’s currently on the third-longest run of success in the majors.
Arizona’s Brad Ziegler has converted 43 in a row, and Familia checks in next at 40 in a row.
Ramos’ last blown save came on Sept. 4 of last season against the Mets.
“I don’t keep up with stuff like that,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t matter to me. Let’s say I go out there and have a bad outing. No one’s going to remember all the saves that I had. They’re just going to think about that one bad game.”
Ramos, who was thrust in the closer’s role midway through last season after Cishek flamed out in the role, doesn’t fit the stereotype of a closer.
At 5-10, he’s not large in stature, posing a towering presence on the mound. Nor does he light up radar guns.
“I’m not nationally recognized,” Ramos acknowledged. “For one, the Marlins don’t get that much attention. That’s one of the reasons. And another is I don’t throw 100 [mph], so that doesn’t draw much attention.”
Sources confirmed that the Marlins have put out trade feelers on Atlanta pitcher Bud Norris as they continue to cast a wide net in search of rotation help.
The Marlins have reportedly shown preliminary interest in two other starters, San Diego’s Drew Pomeranz and Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi. Of the three, Norris would be the most affordable for the Marlins, who don’t have much to offer in return in terms of prospects.
After going 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA for the Orioles in 2014, Norris has struggled since. He’s gone 5-18 with a 5.84 ERA with the Orioles and Braves over the past two seasons while bouncing back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen.
But he has shown improvement of late, going 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA in his past four starts, including one on Tuesday in Miami when he held the Marlins to two runs over 5 1/3 innings in the Braves’ victory.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was the first to report the Marlins’ interest in the 31-year-old right-hander.
If Tom Koehler could take an eraser and wipe two starts off his ledger, he’d be looking at numbers that might surprise many.
Koehler is 6-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 14 starts.
But if his outings on April 16 against the Braves and May 1 against the Brewers were eliminated, he’d be 6-4 with a 2.63 ERA.
“Take out maybe two games I’ve thrown this year, I’ve been pretty pleased with how I’ve been throwing,” said Koehler, who takes the mound Friday against the Cubs.
Said manager Don Mattingly: “I think Tom’s thrown the ball good all year. I feel like every game he’s pitched, we’ve had a chance to win.”
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Koehler (6-6, 3.92 ERA) vs. Chicago Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 2.94), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Paul Clemens (0-0, 5.40) vs. Chicago Cubs RHP John Lackey (7-3, 2.78), 4:10 p.m., Marlins Park.