The Nationals announced this afternoon that they have returned right-hander Elvin Ramirez - a hard-throwing reliever they took in the first round of the Rule 5 draft last December - to the New York Mets.
Ramirez came into spring training with a chance to make the team, as the Nationals tried to build a bullpen full of pitchers whose fastballs could approach 100 mph. But he was delayed by visa issues, and missed the entire season after shoulder surgery. The Nationals would have had to keep Ramirez on their 25-man roster for at least 90 days of the 2012 season to avoid offering him back to the Mets.
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