The first half of the season was awful for the Washington Nationals on the injury front. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Ross Detwiler all missed time at one point due to injury. Another name that was sidelined for a considerable amount of time was catcher Wilson Ramos. While the other four were dearly missed, it turns out that Ramos was the one missed the most.
Throughout the first half of the season, Ramos was battling a hamstring injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list twice and forced him into a couple of rehab stints at the minor league level. While Ramos was recovering, the Nationals had Kurt Suzuki behind home plate and it appeared that not much was missing without Ramos in the lineup.
Over that near two-month span that he was out, the Nationals went 21-23. Since his return, the Nationals have been one of MLB‘s best teams and have a record of 31-21 when Ramos is behind home plate.
The veteran catcher made his presence known as soon as he was inserted back into the lineup back on July 4. In his first game back for the Nationals, he went 3-for-4 with one home run and five RBIs. He came through in the clutch when he delivered the go-ahead three-run homer with two on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Since his return, Ramos has hit .298 with a slugging percentage of .534. He’s hit 13 home runs for 15 total on the season, and has 49 RBIs (55 total). Simply put, he’s been one of their most lethal hitters and in the Nationals’ most recent game, he went 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs.
Sure, the absence of Zimmerman, Werth and Harper certainly didn’t help the Nationals, but they haven’t benefited nearly as much from their return as they have from Ramos’ return. “The Buffalo”, as he has come to be known as, has simply been the big bat that they’ve been needing all season long.
He completes the lineup and really takes the pressure off of other hitters near the bottom of the lineup since he can pick up the slack, and is reliable when runners are in scoring position.
A wise man once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” While he probably wasn’t talking about baseball, the phrase fits for Ramos. He’s one of the quieter players in the clubhouse, but he sure does pack a punch with that bat of his. Don’t overlook the productivity of the masked man sitting behind home plate.
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