Wilson Ramos tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee on May 12, 2012. He underwent surgery that summer and returned to the field the next season.
Ramos has dealt with various injuries since then, with hamstring issues, a broken hamate bone and more, but until last night in the nation’s capital, his surgically-repaired knee held up.
Ramos, 29, and due to become a free agent this winter, started the series opener with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a .307/.354/.497 line, 25 doubles and a career-high 22 HRs in 130 games and 520 plate appearances, over which the Nationals’ backstop was worth a career-best 3.5 fWAR.
In the sixth inning of the game, however, Ramos leapt to bring down a high relay throw to the plate by Ryan Zimmerman, and came down on his right leg, which buckled.
Ramos fell to the ground and called for Washington’s trainers. He pointed to his right knee and writhed in agony. Ramos was helped off the field. He made his way to the dugout stairs with significant difficulty, and slowed considerably as he made his way down the two sets of stairs that lead to the clubhouse.
Once the Nationals’ 14-4 loss to the D-Backs was over, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters about what he knew.
“He doesn’t look too good tonight,” Baker said, “but we’re going to send him in the morning to get a good MRI on his knee. You could tell he was in pain, so we have to wait for tomorrow to come up with something definitive.”
Baker was asked where his level of concern was, and he talked about what the Nats will do without Ramos.
“There’s always a level of concern when you lose a guy of that caliber,” he said.
“But that’s why we have the depth that we have, and nobody is going to feel sorry for you. And so we’ve just got to — next man up — we’ve got some guys that have to pick it up some.”
“There’s nothing you can do about it,” Baker explained. ”You’ve got to play. You’ve got to play and like I said, nobody feels sorry for you, and we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. I mean, it’s a big blow when something happens to a player of that caliber.”
Watching Ramos react to the injury made it seem worse. Did seeing a guy as tough as the Nationals’ catcher make Baker worry even more about the severity of the injury?
“Yeah, but you know, like I’ve told you many times, worry does no good. I mean, even concern does no good. I feel badly, because you know how we all feel about Wilson, but it’s part of the game. You hate it to happen this late, right before the playoffs, but our next step is to try to figure out a way to play without Wilson. So, I’ve been mixing and matching this year and most of my life and so, therefore it’s another obstacle and I just have to try to go back to the drawing board and figure out something.”
Does Pedro Severino get the nod? Is Jose Lobaton bumped up to the starting role? Do they split time behind the plate? At their best, neither seems capable of producing the sort of numbers Ramos has this season.
That the injury to Ramos happened on a non-impact or contact play only makes it more frustrating, but as Baker correctly noted, it was the case last time as well.
Baker was there to see it as the Reds’ manager back then when the injury occurred in Great American Ball Park in 2012.
“Last time he hurt his leg it wasn’t an impact play either,” Baker noted. I wasn’t here, but I was in Cincinnati and it was against us. And so, there’s nothing more I can tell you until tomorrow, we just have to pray for Wilson and hopefully he’s okay.”
• We talked about the injury to Ramos, what the Nationals do next and more on Nats Nightly after the game: