Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is essential to the team making a run at the division.
The Nationals are back and forth between first and second place in the National League East. The team needs a healthy nine-man lineup in the second half of the season if they intend to beat the Atlanta Braves for the division title.
Since his return from injury, Ramos has raised his average to .295, ranking him ninth in terms of catchers in MLB.
The Nationals acquired C Jose Lobaton early in the year, and he took on the bulk of the catching duties when Ramos was out with a hamstring injury. C Sandy Leon was brought up and got some playing time in Ramos’ absence as well, but neither Lobaton nor Leon gave the team the same edge they have with Ramos.
In the last month, Ramos is hitting .351 and has shown how valuable he is the the Nationals’ lineup. On Saturday night, Ramos went 3-for-4 with three RBIs against the Milwaukee Brewers. He is on his way to the best hitting season of his career. In 2013, Ramos finished the season hitting for a .272 average.
The Nationals rely on their pitching to keep them in games. The pitching staff is among the best in the majors, but it is up to the batting order to produce. They will need Ramos and others to remain healthy and to continue creating scoring situations in order to finish the season strong.