On a night that saw the Philadelphia Phillies receive some bad news about their All-Star backstop Carlos Ruiz, who was suspended for 25 games for a positive test for amphetamine, the Washington Nationals received a welcome update on the status of their recovering catcher Wilson Ramos. According to a couple of tweets from Marfa Mata (@Marfamata), a PR rep for Ramos whose name became familiar to fans in the nation's capital during last winter's frightening kidnapping incident in the catcher's home country of Venezuela, the 25-year-old former Minnesota Twins' prospect acquired by the Nats in July of 2010, who tore his ACL and meniscus last May, has seen a doctor and received a positive report on the progress in his recovery:
Wilson Ramos #nats went to his checkup with Dr Steadman today. He is fine and his rehab will continue, increasing physical activities...— Marfa Mata (@Marfamata) November 27, 2012
Dr Steadman is optimistic that Wilson will be ready for spring training. Ramos is working hard on his rehab, he's eager to play soon...— Marfa Mata (@Marfamata) November 27, 2012
Ramos had two surgeries perfomed on his right knee this past summer with doctors first repairing a torn meniscus which they discovered during the first procedure and then the ACL when the knee had healed sufficiently from the first surgery. When the Nationals' catcher talked to reporters, including the Washington Post's James Wagner, on the anniversary of his kidnapping earlier this winter, Ramos said he had moved on from the incident and was concentrating solely on his recovery.
"'It’ll be hard to totally forget something like that,'" Ramos told the WaPost reporter, "But, overall, I’m pretty calm now and worrying totally about my recovery. And I think that’s more important for me, taking care of my knee."
With Ramos injured the Nationals acquired 29-year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki from the A's after the non-waiver deadline last summer, with D.C. GM Mike Rizzo telling CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman at the time that the backstop who's locked up for 2013 with an option for 2014 was, "... not a rental. He's going to be here for more than this season. He's a guy who can really take that rotation together and get it going better than it already has.'"
According to Ramos, the presence of Suzuki on the roster wasn't a concern for him as much as making sure he was 100% healthy for the start of Spring Training. "'I’m not worrying about competing with another catcher but about getting ready 100 percent,'" Ramos told the Washington Post. "'If I’m not 100 percent, how can I compete.'"
The Nationals have until Friday to make a decision on the third catcher in the mix at the major league level. Jesus Flores, the 28-year-old, 5-year veteran taken from the New York Mets' organization in the '02 Rule 5 Draft, is arbitration-eligible so the Nats must decide whether or not to tender a contract to the backstop who earned $815,000 in 2012 when he put up a .213/.248/.329 line with 12 doubles and six home runs in 83 games and 296 plate appearances.
Ramos had a .265/.354/.398 line with two doubles and three home runs in 25 games and 96 PAs before his injury this season coming off a .267/.334/.445, 22 double, 15 HR, +3.3 fWAR 2011 campaign. Kurt Suzuki came to D.C. with a .218/.250/.286 line, but put up a .267/.321/.404 line with Washington, and had a .301/.355/.482 line with three doubles and four home runs in 26 games and 93 PAs over the last month-plus with the Nationals, finishing the year at +0.8 fWAR overall after a +2.2 fWAR 2011 season.