From the Louisville Bats:

April 18, 2005

The International League announced today that Louisville pitcher Elizardo Ramirez has been named the League‚s first Pitcher-of-the-Week for the 2005 season. The award covers the first eleven days of the season, the period from April 7-17.

Making his Triple-A debut last week was Louisville pitcher ELIZARDO RAMIREZ. The 22-year-old took the hill April 9 against the Ottawa Lynx, and was brilliant, tossing seven shutout innings. Elizardo struck out five Lynx batters and allowed just four hits. The Bats bullpen finished the shutout, and Louisville won the game 9-0. Ramirez had his first Triple-A victory. He returned to the mound Thursday to square off against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Again, Ramirez gave the Bats seven scoreless innings in another outstanding effort. This time he was matched pitch-for-pitch by his Red Sox counterpart Jeremi Gonzalez, and would leave with the game still scoreless. But the Bats scraped together a run in the bottom of the eighth and held on to win 1-0. Overall Louisville is off to a 7-4 start, just 0.5 games out of first place in the IL West. Ramirez has yet to allow a run in his first 14 innings of Triple-A baseball, and not surprisingly, is leading the League in ERA after his first two starts!

Ramirez was drafted by Philadelphia in 1999 at the age of 16. Through the 2003 season he had never pitched above Class-A, but last season he suddenly jumped from Class-A Clearwater to the Philadelphia Phillies and appeared in seven games. He was eventually optioned to Double-A Reading, where he remained until being dealt to Cincinnati as part of the Cory Lidle trade last August. Ramirez finished his year in Double-A Chattanooga, where he was 1-0 with a 3.19 ERA in five starts.