MLB Rumors: Ramon Hernandez and the Washington Nationals
This report comes as no surprise from the catching-deprived Nationals, as the combination of Jesus Flores and Jhonatan Solano has been underwhelming at best in 2012.
Wilson Ramos‘ ACL injury really set the team back as far as catching is concerned. Flores and Solano have combined to put together a .666 OPS, bad enough for 12th in the National League at the position. Throw in the fact that they’ve thrown out just seven of 45 base stealers, and you’ve got yourself a problem on both sides of the spectrum.
MLB Rumors have been swirling since the beginning of June, and the Nationals have been involved in their fair share. Most recently, it’s been with Hernandez.
Hernandez, although in a down season himself, represents a significant upgrade over both Flores and Solano. Not only would he be able to outproduce the young tandem, he could also help tutor the young backstops on how to be productive in both aspects of the game.
Hernandez, an offensive catcher for most of his career, also posts respectable defensive numbers. He’s thrown out 27 percent of would-be base stealers so far in 2012, and owns a career caught stealing percentage of 31 percent.
He may not be the best defensive catcher, but he’s significantly better than both of Washington’s options at this point in time.
The goal would be for Hernandez to be the team’s everyday catcher, though a 50-50 game split could also be an option. Unless the Nationals choose to carry three catchers on the 25-man roster, Solano would likely be the odd man out of the equation.
With the emergence of Wilin Rosario behind the plate in Colorado, Hernandez has become expendable and could likely be had relatively cheap.
A mid-tier prospect could likely get the job done.
We’ll have to keep scouting the MLB Rumors to see how it plays out.