Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ramos needs surgery for torn ACL

Associated Press photo
Wilson Ramos receives help from Nationals trainers after injuring his right knee.
Updated at 11:10 a.m.

A Nationals club that already has been forced to overcome several significant injuries will have to overcome yet another one after catcher Wilson Ramos tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the seventh inning of Saturday night's 2-1 win in Cincinnati.

Ramos' knee buckled while trying to corral a ball that got away from him near the plate, and he immediately collapsed in a heap. After spending several minutes on the ground, head trainer Lee Kuntz and assistant trainer Mike McGowan helped the 24-year-old carefully walk off the field, not putting any weight on his right leg.

Ramos underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson confirmed to reporters in Cincinnati this morning that the catcher will need surgery to repair a torn ACL. Ramos will miss most, if not all, of the rest of the season.

Jesus Flores finished the game and will take over as the Nationals' No. 1 catcher when Ramos is placed on the disabled list as expected. The 27-year-old, who had been considered the organization's long-term answer behind the plate until a major shoulder injury sidelined him nearly two years, had been seen as a possible trade chip.

Now, though, the Nationals will need to ask Flores to re-assume the everyday job while also finding a new backup. The most likely in-house candidate for a promotion seemed to be Carlos Maldonado, the 33-year-old veteran who is hitting .231 with two homers at Class AAA Syracuse. Maldonado has 25 games of big-league experience with the Pirates 2006-07) and Nationals (2010).

The Nationals, though, instead purchased 23-year-old Sandy Leon's contract from Class AA Harrisburg, which is playing in nearby Akron this weekend. Widely considered the best defensive catcher in Washington's farm system, Leon is hitting .319 in 27 games but had not spent any time above Class A prior this season.

Ramos will become the latest key player off the Nationals' roster to miss time due to injury. Already this season, they've seen third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left fielder Michael Morse, center fielder Rick Ankiel, right fielder Jayson Werth, utilityman Mark DeRosa, No. 5 starter Chien-Ming Wang, closer Drew Storen and setup man Brad Lidge spend time on the DL. First baseman Adam LaRoche also missed four games with a minor oblique injury.

Despite all that, the Nationals now own a 21-12 record, best in the NL East.

75 comments:

Joe Seamhead said...

Maldonado doesn't bring much to the table with his bat, yet he is the most likely, as Mark said. Sandy Leon is getting rave reviews, but that would be a big jump for him. Damn! Tough luck for Ramos, and the club.

Clip&Store said...

good thing we didn't trade Flores

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Where's Pudge? Come out of retirement.

Cwj said...

I love Pudge, but even if he hadn't retired last month its doubtful he could hit anymore.

VERY good thing Flores wasn't traded!

Pitching can and has carried this team, no reason to think they wont continue to do so with yet another injury to a hitter.

Go 21-12 Nats!

Steady Eddie said...

Unfortunately, Maldonado is the better choice for a very occasionally used backup. Sandy Leon on looks like he could be terrific, but with only six weeks at AA Harrisburg, he needs to continue to play every day, which is not what you want Flores' backup to go.

Boy, the trials that Wilson is being subjected to since last season.


At least C is a place where we have a genuine #1 as backup.

Steady Eddie said...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....

Steady Eddie said...

Well, now Amanda is Tweeting that Leon is the choice, especially as the Senators are playing at Akron and can get to Cincy tomorrow.

No question he's the best available C in the farms. That's a big jump, though. But without having to play much, he can certainly learn a lot from Jesus. I guess that's another kind of development?

whatsanattau said...

Bestt wishes Wilson!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Hopefully just a hyper extrension and not a tear. I hyper extended the knee about 8 years ago, and it took a month to recover. Not to catch, just to walk. Again I am not in the shape these guys are, so the recovery to walk would be faster for them, but the squatting could take a lot longer to get too.

if it is tear it will be probably the rest of the season.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good call Peric. Amanda says it's Sandy Leon. Probably easier to get to Cincy since he's in Akron.

UnkyD said...

VERY interesting, as Solano is the only other catcher on the 40 man, after Moose and Jesus. Prolly means they don't expect Wilson back this year?

NatsLady said...

Wilson, God Bless, and get well soon! Welcome to the Show, Sandy Leon.

Saw this on Twitter:

Washington couldn't hit its way out of a wet oragami bag, but they have ten pitchers with the league on lockdown.

And one of them was Jordan Zimmerman, last night. Unreal, unbelievable focus. His catcher goes down before his eyes and he finishes the strikeout and gets the two guys after him--and he was tired.

No way this rotation worries about run support! Every morning I wake up and look at that ERA, 2.60, that line--best in the majors in almost every category, K's, WHIP... Can we have a Cy Young for the STAFF?

They showed Gio bouncing around in the dugout delighting in GOOD HENRY, so I hope he's OK.

Hey, Cincy, what weak bullpen??? Four innings yesterday, two today, 1 measly run? Good luck with that.

Mr. Jackson, your turn. And boys--Bam Bam--some scoring today, please. Thanks.

Mr. Doggett said...

Bam bam hitter a bopper today. I can feel it.

Feel so bad for Wilson, but at least we have Flores. Good teams have depth and the fact that we are STILL in first with such a depleted roster speaks to how great we'll be in the second half/dare I say postseason?

JT said...

How this mash unit continues to stay in first is a testament to the depth of the organization. Losing Ramos is quite a blow but they are fortunate to have two #1 catchers on the team. I don't think you will see much, if any, drop off with Flores, especially after he gets a few games in a row under his belt.

Mr Baseball said...

As I've said before get out of those jinx red (Cincinnati and Philies uniforms) or change our name to the Washington Red Cross! Everything related to Red in Washington is a disaster! Check the Capitals, today and the Wizards.

Here's praying and wishing the best for Ramos. Thanks for Jesus Flores!

natsfan1a said...

Best wishes to Wilson for full healing.

On another note, Comak and Kilgore have both noted that Gio's prior adventures on the basepaths affected both hands, and that he's received treatment on his pitching hand.

Doc said...

Forced to listen to Cincy broadcasters because of the blackout--I can hear Bud The Spud counting his $18mm as I write--they frequently harped on our BP being a weak link, as NatsLady noted.

Shame on you Chris Welsh, you need to do your broadcast homework. Our BP is 3rd in the NL.

Another thing that grated me was their omitting mention of Ramos being a top ROY candidate last year.

True JFlo has been the better defensive C this year for the Nats, but Ramos deserves a lot more credit than they gave a guy who went down in the line of duty.

ehay2k said...

Missed the game but saw the replay,where Ramos' knee appeared to buckle. Almost certainly something is torn, and I hope it is not the ACL. That will take 18 months to get back to old form.

Very glad Rizzo didn't package Flores, on whom we now depend, for outfielder we aren't really sure we need.

If the Nats can just hold it together for about another month, Morse and DeRosa (provided he doesn't high five Harper again) should be back, and then in another month or so after that, we should get Storen back. We also have the trade deadline and can decide what to do with our super-stocked staff.

Anyone have a link to the info on Gio's hands getting treatment?

natsfan1a said...

Here's a link, ehay.

natsfan1a said...

Here's another one.

mick said...

this situation is a Rod Serling moment

mick said...

this situation is a Rod Serling moment

Theophilus T. S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theophilus T. S. said...

Sort of happy the callup is Leon, if true. Soltano(?) -- the kid w/ the dyslexic first name -- is apparently just off the DL and Maldonado would need to call a cab to get to 1B -- if in fact he had a reason to run to 1B. At least (A) there's a vacancy on the 40-man, and (B) Leon was likely to be put on the 40-man at the end of the season anyway. So, if he utterly fails to hit, they could swap him out w/ Soltano when the latter gets healthy.

Flores is a big league catcher, but I don't think anybody has any illusions about his ability to start 110 of the next 129 games.

Hopefully the awakening bats of other players -- Bernadina, Espinosa, Zimmerman, Morse -- will offset any loss of offensive production.

JaneB said...

I thought Maldonado was hitting well, Theo. I'm happy for whomever is coming up. Big day for him. And givennthatnwe have three good guys, a real,vote of confidence to be the one chosen.

Jesus is the real deal. He will take care of us while Wilson is healing. Kind of a turn about that he lost the everyday job because he was injured so long. But now he gets it back, at least for a while.

I woke up, west coast time, thinking about the bad dream I had about Wilson being injured. Too much bourbon and maalox, I guess.

Gonat said...

Wilson's offensive numbers are actually near the top for catchers and he was just getting his HR stroke back with 2 in the last week.

His OBP of .354 to go with a slash of .265/.354/.398/.752 but he also had this ability to score 32% of the time he got on base from generally the 7th or 8th spot in the lineup. Those are actually some impressive numbers

rmoore446 said...

Maldonado did hit well in the spring and won high praise from Davey for his handling of pitchers. Still I expect a youngster to come up.

natsfan1a said...

MiLB broadcast note, from MLB Network site (I believe that Wang is slated for the start):

Monday, May 13, 12:00 p.m., Minor League Baseball Live, Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A Minnesota Twins) at Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A Washington Nationals.

natsfan1a said...

Yeah, I dropped something, )

natsfan1a said...

Mark has updated the post above. Hope that the surgery goes well and that healing is full. We'll miss you, Wilson!

"Ramos was due to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury, and though the Nationals have yet to reveal the results of that test, family friend Marfa Mata tweeted this morning that Ramos will need surgery to repair a torn ligament."

Nats1924 said...

Pudge coming out of retirement, is it really that unrealistic?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

The team has had resolve through out this, and will continue. That is a credit to Davey Johnson who stays a hell of a lot more positive than I could.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I called for Pudge last night. I am sure he could do the job well enough.

peric said...

I told you Mark.

Davey is anything but consistent as was Riggleman Davey went for the top prospect featuring a left-handed bat (he's a switch hitter) not 34 year old Maldonado. While Riggleman would have asked for Maldonado.

Riggleman : Respect the veterans afraid of prospects.
Johnson: Prospects 'R Us.

I really like the move.

peric said...

I called for Pudge last night. I am sure he could do the job well enough.

The Nats are in the business of developing prospects not helping 40 year old future Hall of Famers get to 3000 hits. Pudge is a move the ancient Phillies and Riggleman would make. It ends with the Nats in last place at the bottom of the NL East.

This is the right move for this team at this time.

Stop geezing please.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Thank god for Kid Flores. He'll do fine. And the Double-A defensive catcher will do fine too. This team is built on pitching and defense. We weren't scoring with Moose in the lineup. We won't score without him.

May 13th, and still in soul possession of first place in the NL East.

Go get 'em EJack. Nats win 3-1.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Peric sez, "Stop geezing please."

Peric, I finally agree with you.

Pitching, defense, youth. It's gotten us here so far. It will get us home as well.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Peric sez: "Stop geezing please."

Finally, Peric, I agree with something you say.

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peric said...

Good call Peric. Amanda says it's Sandy Leon. Probably easier to get to Cincy since he's in Akron.

Thank you sir! Very kind of you.

In any case as I have said its why I was so incensed with Riggleman. This is the complete polar opposite of last year where they would have gone to Maldonado. Defensively Leon is more than ready. What's another bat for Davey to develop along with Bam Harp, the Shark, Espiinosa, Desmond, and hopefully T_Mo12.

Davey promised he could win with the talent in the system and develop them. He is keeping his word. And Leon is the best catcher they currently have in the system now that his bat has finally awoken. He is actually better than Derrick Norris because his defensive skills are already MLB ready or beyond.

BTW Prospects expert NFA Brian thinks he still needs half a year but nevertheless likes the move.

The Nat's catching coach is currently their bench coach (Randy Knorr). Shouldn't be a problem.

peric said...

Its also possible Wilson won't be able to catch after this. Its what happened to Josh Willingham in the Marlin's system.

John said...

Flores will flourish with this opportunity. Give him credit for staying patient and not creating a storm with his lack of playing time up until now. Very unfortunate injury for Ramos. Hope he recovers 100%. Looking forward to seeing the apparent gun of an arm that Leon has.

peric said...

NFA Brian Oliver:

Like the Leon call-up. Not like Moore if he sits on bench. Leon is a solid option as backup CA. Defensively ready, that's what MLB backup is

sm13 said...

A sad twist to Wilson's incredible story, coming back from his near-tragic off-season. I hope we get to see him back in 2012, but that's probably a long shot.

Thankfully we have Flo to step right in. He is ready to take the opportunity and give us a good season behind the plate and at the bat.

I wonder if Leon is just a temporary backup, to make sure we are covered today. Wouldn't be surprised to see Moldanado called up in his place for the longer term.

Doc said...

Davey wasn't kiddin' when he said that the Nats were well-stocked with C talent.

Leon, a fellow Venezuelan for JFlo will be an excellent backup. Great arm, great form behind the plate, and a switchy.

Coming down the pike is Frietas who might be the best hitter of them all.

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

Like Davey said, Ramos has had a rough year on- and off-field.

NatsLady said...

Good chance of a rainout tomorrow, so Rizzo and Davey can have time to assess. Would they play a doubleheader on Tuesday? Strange schedule this week, two games with the Padres and two with the Pirates.

Go Padres! Go Cards! (Can't bring myself to type anything for the Fish.) Checked the injury rosters across MLB--some teams have a long list, some only one or two.

I remember Davey at the end of Spring Training saying how comforatble he was with Maldanado. But that is SOME rookie hazing list he's got now-don't forget Lombo.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ramos = knee. Willingham = back. Entirely different issues.

peric said...

According to MLB Trade Rumors teams don't want to talk about Lannan they are all interested in Wang.

A trade seems like the best scenario for the Nats relative to the Lannan, Wang versus the current starting five. The other possibility would be to trade EJax who is a 1 year rental. But his replacement would undoubtedly be Danny Rosenbaum currently one of the leading pitchers in AA. I suspect they plan on giving Danny some AAA time first. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear as if Purke and Solis will be joining him in that rotation.

The other component of that trade had to be a catcher. With the promotion and use of Leon the Nats top prospect in the minors is now David Freitas. He needs a lot of work on the defensive side of the game. After that its basically Solano who is currently on the DL in Syracuse and Maldonado.

That Nats have pretty much used up all their catching depth with the trade of Norris, the injury to Ramos, and the promotion of Leon.

MicheleS said...

This is just sad for Wilson. I hope and pray that he can fully return to form, if not, that he can play another position and continue to contribute to this team.

The Rays have a saying.. Next Man Up. Thankfully we have JFlo and depth at this position. Good Luck to Leon. And I know that JFlo will be awesome, we saw it before his injury, and he has returned to form.

peric said...

Willingham = back. Entirely different issues.

Both of Willingham's knees have been surgically repaired. When you start favoring things the back goes. Have you ever had knee surgery NatsJack? One of my legs is shorter than the other as a result of that ... and let me tell you it affects the back big time!

With a really serious knee surgery (I've had three surgeries on one knee) squatting in that position for hours, having to move rapidly from a squatting position constantly ... not sure that flies.

If I were Ramos the first thing I would do is drop about 20 perhaps 30 pounds. That might help. Not sure if it would affect his hitting.

peric said...

The Rays have a saying.. Next Man Up. Thankfully we have JFlo and depth at this position.

There's not a lot left of the Nats tremendous catching depth now. It has to be a bit of a concern for Rizzo.

Albeit Freitas and Nieto have been looking pretty good this season. But they are still in A ball.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Not only glad they didn't trade Flores, glad they traded Norris. There would have been too much temptation to bring up a guy who was not ML-defense ready and offensively questionable. Ramos's recent on-field misfortunes confirm the first priority of catching: catch/stop the ball. Everything else is secondary.

Still, hope Ramos recovers fully. There are a variety of alternatives among the tentative diagnosis-by-twit, including ACL, MCL, both, one or both plus patellar tendon issues, etc.

This is the time for the Nats to apply the position-player equivalent of the Strasburg recovery plan. DO NOT under any circumstances hasten his return to baseball if in any way it reduces the chances of complete recovery. We want Ramos back in the lineup, not Willingham-Ramos. If that means he's not back until ST, or June 2012, or whatever, DON'T RUSH IT.

UnkyD said...

"The Nats are in the business of developing prospects not helping 40 year old future Hall of Famers get to 3000 hits. Pudge is a move the ancient Phillies and Riggleman would make. It ends with the Nats in last place at the bottom of the NL East."
-------
Took the words right Ottawa my mouth, Peric!!! Pudge would be on the plane for Cincy, if Riggs were making the call, and as much as I love him, these no place for Pudge on this team... (unless he's a coach)...

GYFNG!!!!

Scott from Burke said...

Whoever the nats trade i hope they package with lannan

peric said...

Luke Erickson (Nationals Prospects) opinion on the Leon move:

But it's taken years for him to hit (cont'd) MT
Not the best option long-term. Needs to play every day to avoid being Rhineharted

My guess is that might be true if Riggleman were running the show. But with Davey? He appears to feel that after winning his #2 priority is to develop prospects. One could point to Tyler Moore and say "well what about him?"

I suspect he is an emergency placeholder for Michael Morse as Morse should be getting pretty close. Then he returns to AAA.

Corey Brown's bat is starting to light up. So, I suspect if another move were made for the outfield outside of Morse returning it would be for Corey Brown who is a consummate fielder and a left-handed bat. Brown now has five homers and the IL has begun to intentionally/unintentionally walk him which means they feel he is locked in.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm 65 friggin years old. Three knee surgeries, one back surgery, and one shoulder surgery. The only one giving me problems is the back.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And does anybody aside from the resident genius give a rat's patootie what Jim Riggleman would have done?

A DC Wonk said...

So, I've been asking this after each Rosenbaum start (and each one has been terrific) - when do we see him promoted to Syracuse? What's taking so long? The nateers in AA are no match for him

Theophilus T. S. said...

Agree w/ Peric that Ramos could stand to lose 20-30#. Would help his recovery if nothing else, tho hard to lose weight when one's leg is immobilized.

Dissent from Peric re depth. Leon and Soltano(?) sufficient to get thru this year and at least half of next.

Hidden downside: less or no flexiblity to trade Flores before he becomes a FA (after 2013).

A DC Wonk said...

Batters

A DC Wonk said...

But if you were catching, your knees might be giving you problems too, no?

peric said...

NFA Brian Oliver:

Gloves get backup catchers to majors. Leon is quick catch/release.

Hidden downside: less or no flexiblity to trade Flores before he becomes a FA (after 2013).

Worse than you might think that might put the kibosh on the trade they were about to make to resolve the Wang coming of the DL issue. Its going to be interesting to see how Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson finally resolve things.

Right now they probably would like to find a way to keep them all given the epidemic of injuries.

A DC Wonk said...

Gonat said...

Wilson . . . he also had this ability to score 32% of the time he got on base from generally the 7th or 8th spot in the lineup


Huh? Does that have anything to do with Wilson himself? Isn't that a function of the guys behind him? (Ian, e.g., has 12 RBI's -- which is tied for second on the team)

Theophilus T. S. said...

No, NatsJack, I don't give a rats patoot what Riggleman would have done. (FN: I still think Riggleman was a major upgrade over Acta.)

Neither do I give a R.A. as to whether Rosenbaum finishes the year in AA or AAA. One clear thing, he's not going to finish the year in Washington or -- probably -- start next year in Washington.

Is anything gained by sending him to Syracuse? I doubt it. Most AAA teams have less talent (relatively) than the '62 Mets. Whereas AA is where the fast-risers and high-flyers are hanging out. Do you get ready to pitch in the majors by pitching to guys who have already failed or never will hit major league pitching consistently?

peric said...

And does anybody aside from the resident genius give a rat's patootie what Jim Riggleman would have done?

For some odd reason one has to remind people of what it was like just last year. The stark differences in philosophy and approach to both building a winning franchise and fielding a competitive major league product.

I find it irksome when people suggest trading good prospects for players who are injury risks and close enough to the end of the line unless they manage as AL DH's.

Prospects got "Rhinharted", stuck in Riggleman's purgatory, because he only trusted and relied on "veterans".

NatsJack in Florida said...

On the Sandy Leon promotion, I got to observe him up close and personal the past two Fall Instructs and he showed the most improvement from one year to the next of any position player I saw.

His footwork behind the plate is excellent and he has the quickest release in the organization. He also improved the most at the plate while exhibiting consistency as a switch hitter.

I doubt they want him to be a back up for too long so this is probably a temporary move. But he does have the potential to be an everyday catcher in the not too distant future.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Tough break for Ramos; you gotta feel for him. Nevertheless, Flores was our number one catcher and playing everyday was awesome! I fully expect Flores to raise his batting avg. significantly higher and show the power he once had: in both cases, avg. and power, somewhat stronger than Ramos. Personally, I think Flores is a better defensive catcher and seems to call a better game. So, as awful as this is to Ramos, this might turn out to be a plus for the Nats. Go Jesus!!!! You got your chance now.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

One more thought:

Irony is a strange thing. Ramos' injury was incurred while chasing a pass ball -- a ball that caromed off his glove. The rap lately on Ramos was his devolving defensive skills -- and that is what got him. Irony is a bi#@#.

peric said...

Is anything gained by sending him to Syracuse? I doubt it.

Waiting to see what happens with Solis and Purke. That's the advantage. He gets promoted to the major league depth chart. A phone call away in case of an emergency.

That'd be my guess.

Milone finished a full year in Syracuse.

Don said...

Ramos will become the latest key player off the Nationals' roster to miss time due to injury. Already this season, they've seen third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left fielder Michael Morse, center fielder Rick Ankiel, right fielder Jayson Werth, utilityman Mark DeRosa, No. 5 starter Chien-Ming Wang, closer Drew Storen and setup man Brad Lidge spend time on the DL. First baseman Adam LaRoche also missed four games with a minor oblique injury.

In other words, the entire team outside of Desomnd and Espi.. I wouldn't walk under any ladders or break any mirrors if I were them.

Don

peric said...

The only one giving me problems is the back.

Yep. That's why I cycle 30 miles or more per day. That and the other usual things ... working my way back to running 5 - 7 miles plus per day. Soft surfaces.

Weight is the critical factor for me. If its too high I can end up in serious pain. Ramos best bet is to take a page from his amigo Flores. Drop the pounds and really build up the legs. Then, maybe because he is still young enough.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Peric -- Next year, Jackson, Wang and probably Lannan (non-tendered) are -- most likely -- gone. So there's one opening in the rotation. My expectation is the Nats would prefer another one-year rental. But finishing the year in Double-A wouldn't disqualify Rosenbaum for that role.

My sense is that his remaining issue is physical. Can he raise his FB to an occasional 93-94? If not, then he's in the Lannan/Milone mode that doesn't fit the Nats' model. Better he should spend the summer dominating the Eastern League that shuffling through the dink and dunk Amer. Association.

peric said...

Peric -- Next year, Jackson, Wang and probably Lannan (non-tendered) are -- most likely -- gone. So there's one opening in the rotation.

They might bring Jackson back ... or go for Zach Grienke who will be available and perhaps really interested this time. Its hard to tell.

Rosenbaum won't spend the entire year in AAA as Milone, Stammen, Detwiler did. They didn't get their "get out jail free" pass until Riggleman left and Johnson took over.

So, although Rosenbaum might start in AAA he probably wouldn't be there long. Rosenbaum might also replace Tom Gorzelanny as the "long man/spot starter" on the left-side.

Rosenbaum's best outcome is to get a September call-up this year and really impress when he gets to the majors.

peric said...

Ladson: So we are clear: Pudge Rodriguez is not on the radar screen to be a backup catcher.

And some good news from Byron Kerr and Nats Insider:

Byron Kerr: OF Brian Goodwin playing 3 inns. at a time in Fla., making good progress fr quad injury; could be back in a week.

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