Less than a week after the Washington Nationals lost Jayson Werth to a broken wrist that will keep the veteran outfielder out of the lineup for up to twelve weeks, the Nats learned this morning that they'd lost another everyday player to a long-term injury. In the seventh inning of last night's game, 24-year-old catcher Wilson Ramos was recovering a passed ball when he suffered what appeared to be a knee injury. The Cincinnati Reds had a runner on first when Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann threw a fastball in the dirt by the Nats' catcher and as he retrieved it and turned to throw, Ramos' knee buckled and the 6'0'', 250lb backstop went down and stayed down, clearly in significant pain. "I don't know how bad it is," Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told reporters after last night's game, "He's going for an MRI, but I have a bad feeling he tore something in there and his down time will be a while. We'll just keep our fingers crossed, but right now it's not good at all."
"His cleat just kind of caught when he went for it," the Nats' skipper explained, "and just twisted that knee and the knee kind of buckled and he was in a lot of pain and that was not good." The Nationals had "a move in progress," the manager said last night, but, "... we're not going to announce it until we get a hold of the people that are going to be involved, and we also need to wait on the MRI before we make any move. We'll probably have somebody coming in here and hopefully we'll get him here by game time tomorrow so we have a backup catcher, but we'll just hold off on that until [Ramos] gets examined." According to reports last night, which have been confirmed this morning, the Nationals have called 23-year-old catcher Sandy Leon up from Double-A Harrisburg to back up Jesus Flores. And the news on Ramos is not good...
Family spokesperson Marfa Mata, who became well-known in the nation's capital this past winter when the Nats' catcher endured a kidnapping ordeal in his home country of Venezuela, wrote on Twitter this morning that the catcher had suffered a torn ligament in his right knee which will require surgery:
Lamentablemente Wilson Ramos necesitará cirugía del ligamento de su rodilla derecha. Aun no se tienen más detalles...— Marfa Mata (@Marfamata) May 13, 2012
The rough translation there, "Unfortunately Wilson Ramos will need surgery on his right knee ligament. Still do not have more details ..." The Nationals (via Twitter @NationalsPR) confirmed the news just minutes ago:
Injury Update: Wilson Ramos MRI revealed torn ACL (right knee). He will be placed on the 15-Day DL today.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 13, 2012
"With everything that [Ramos] has been through over the winter..." Davey Johnson said last night, clearly upset for the catcher, "And now this. He's been catching great and swinging the bat good. It's just another big loss. It seems like we've been having more than our fair share." The Nats' manager said last night that the team had had enough of the injuries which have been a big problem all season. "We've got pretty good depth here and we've got a lot of talent here," Johnson said, "But I think we've had enough. [Jesus] Flores is certainly capable of being a no.1 [catcher] and he's ready for that challenge, but losing one of the top catchers in the league, that hurts."
"I saw him a minute ago and he's really down," Johnson told reporters Saturday night before the MRI had been done, "He's in a lot of pain, still in a lot of pain, can't put any weight on it, not a good sign." After the results of the MRI were revealed this morning, the manager told reporters that Ramos will likely miss the remainder of the season:
It's a torn ACL for Wilson Ramos. He will have surgery and be "out for most of the year," Davey Johnson said. #nats— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 13, 2012
Davey: Torn ACL for Ramos. Severity not clear. He'll miss most of, if not all of, the rest of the season. "He hasn't had a very good year."— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) May 13, 2012
More news when it's available...
Sandy Leon, who'll be making his MLB debut if and when he first gets into a game, was off to a strong start at Double-A Harrisburg before he was called up overnight. After posting a .251/.312/.362 line with 21 doubles and six home runs at Class-A Potomac last season, the Maracaibo, Venezuela-born backstop was off to a .319/.356/.457 start with 10 doubles and a home run in 27 games and 102 plate appearances this season at Double-A. Reports from Cincinnati this morning say he's already in the clubhouse at Great American Ballpark.