Washington Nationals: Catcher Wilson Ramos Update

By Timothy Holland

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is hoping to return next year from a severe knee injury that ended his 2012 season in May. At that time, Ramos was just getting settled as Washington’s regular starting catcher. It is hoped that the 24-year-old bounces back and is able to resume his role in 2013.

Ramos injured his right knee while going after a passed ball against the Cincinnati Reds. It appeared that the knee simply buckled. X-rays and an MRI showed a torn anterior cruciate ligament and Ramos was done for the year. He had surgery in June and another in July to repair the damage.

Ramos began rehab immediately and returned to the team’s facilities in August. He is no longer on crutches, but is walking with a limp. The organization expects him to be ready by spring training.

It was another bad turn of events for Ramos. In November 2011 he was kidnapped in his native Venezuela and held captive for two days. While Ramos’ family and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo feared the worse, he was rescued unharmed.

Ramos had just become Washington’s starting catcher in 2011. He played in 113 games, batted .267 and hit 15 home runs that season. The man the Nationals sent pitcher Matt Capps to the Minnesota Twins for in 2010 was stating to come into his own.

In 2012, Ramos got off to a good start. He started 25 of Washington’s first 32 games and was hitting .265 with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. At the time of his injury, the Nationals record stood at 19-12 and they were in first place in the NL East.

Ramos missed the final 130 games of the season and the playoffs.

Without Ramos, Washington went with backup catcher Jesus Flores until August. When he began to wear down, the Nationals traded for Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki had a fine season and is signed through next season. This means if Ramos comes back healthy, Washington will have to make a major decision at catcher. Do they keep Ramos and Suzuki or trade one of them?

At the moment, all signs point to Ramos being ready for spring training. He has remained in Washington instead of going home to Venezuela. The Nationals training staff will work with him until December, maybe longer. The goal is to get Ramos completely healthy before he takes the field in February.

Right now, the jury is still out on Ramos. His knee was injured pretty badly and catchers are nothing without their knees.

Whether it is with Washington or someone else, here is hoping that Ramos is able to play in 2013.

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