So, you think the Washington Nationals missed Wilson Ramos, or what?
The words “immediate impact” gets thrown around a fair bit in the sporting world, but very few cases would have been more fitting for it than the return of the Nats’ catcher on Independence Day, rejoining the lineup of the thus far disappointing NL East on-paper favorites after missing more than a full month (44 games) with a strained hamstring.
It was actually his second stint on the DL for the hammy already in 2013, though despite having missed some 58 games in total, it was almost like he never took any time off from MLB-level baseball at all.
Don’t believe me? Just ask the Milwaukee Brewers.
Or more specifically, you can ask Brandon Kintzler, the Brew Crew reliever who had the unfortunate idea in the seventh inning of the Independence Day matchup with the Nats to throw a 1-0 slider that didn’t do too much sliding to Ramos, who wasted little time in rocketing the pitch to left field for a memorable welcome back present for the home crowd in Washington.
Oh, and he did it with two outs and two men on base, with the three-run shot being the difference to move the Nats over .500, and it also capped a 3-for-4, five-RBI day — no big deal.
Did I mention that this was the first game he’s played in the bigs since the middle of May?
If the 25-year-old was trying to make up for lost time, he’s certainly well on his way to doing so. He has every good reason to as well, considering that he missed just about the entire season in 2012 thanks to a torn ACL which has limited him to just 40 games of action over the last campaign and a half or so.
Given the issues with his health, I can’t imagine that there Davey Johnson and the Nats will be throwing Ramos into full-time action immediately despite his spectacular return; but as he’s already a 0.5 fWAR player in just 15 games compared to Kurt Suzuki‘s replacement-level production over 63 … any time share is unlikely to last for long, as this team needs all the offense it can get.