Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ramos catching back-to-back days

Associated Press
Wilson Ramos caught five innings today and will start again tomorrow.
VIERA, Fla. -- He's spent the entire spring crossing various tasks off his rehab checklist, from catching his first bullpen session to blocking pitches in the dirt to sliding into a base to squatting behind the plate in a game for the first time since he tore his ACL last May.

At this point, there are only two more tasks for Wilson Ramos to cross off his to-do list before the Nationals break camp and before he feels like he's back to 100 percent: Catching a full, nine-inning game and catching on back-to-back days.

Ramos will have to wait a bit longer before he's cleared to do the former, but he's getting a chance to do the latter right now. After starting today's exhibition game against the Mets and playing five innings, Ramos will be back in the Nationals' lineup tomorrow against the Astros.

Manager Davey Johnson informed Ramos of the plan this morning during batting practice, and the 25-year-old couldn't hide his enthusiasm.

"I told him I'm ready to go," Ramos said. "I felt like I'm ready to catch more innings, you know? He told me that, about back-to-back games, and I got a little excited because I want to catch more."

Ramos has shown few lingering effects of his knee injury this spring, and today he looked perfectly comfortable catching all five of Jordan Zimmermann's innings on the mound. He went 0-for-2 at the plate but is still hitting .273 (3-for-11) in six total games.

More importantly, he's crossed whatever mental hurdles stood in his way when he arrived at camp, confident now his surgically repaired knee will hold up through any kind of baseball activity.

"I'm completely confident," he said. "I forget about blocking, sliding, already. I don't have any problem with that now. ... I'm doing it during the game, and it feels good. I'm not thinking about my knee now. Just go out there and play the game."

Excited as he is to catch on back-to-back days this week, Ramos is more interested in making it through an entire game for the first time.

"I want to do the next step, and the next step for me is to catch nine innings," he said. "That's what I want to do."

Ramos remains confident he'll be ready to go on Opening Day, though he won't get to make that call. Johnson has suggested in the past he plans to start Kurt Suzuki in the April 1 opener against the Marlins, using Ramos as his No. 2 catcher early in the season, but the manager wouldn't commit one way or the other when asked today who would be behind the plate in the season's first game.

"I want to be in the first game, you know?" Ramos said. "But that's a decision I can't make. The manager and Mike [Rizzo], they have to make that decision. I just want to go out there and do my best job, and they have to make the decision. I want to be able to play on Opening Day and a lot of games in the season."


Michael S said...

Glad to see Rambo in the conversation for opening day. he has had some adversity in the past 16 months that's for sure.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Swift Eagle and Joe Seamhead were able to see what great shape Ramos has attained.

It was also great to have a mini reunion with fellow Class of '65 Falls Church High grads Sandy Alderson and his lovely wife Linda (formerly Huff) Alderson.

SonnyG10 said...

Good for Wilson. He must be making good progress to be in the conversation for opening day.

Gonat said...

If Wilson Ramos can show he can go 9 innings, I think given his hard work he has earned the Opening Day spot at starting catcher.

sjm308 said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Ramos will be our starting catcher for years to come. Just not sure he will start on opening day this year. Suzuki has done nothing wrong and is a proven veteran. Doubt if any team in the majors has two solid starting catchers like we do. This will be one of Davey's big jobs, keeping both these guys happy.

Traveler8 said...

Scooter, Jordan doesn't know what he's missing!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Man, I love watching elimination games!

Baseball is so much better when it matters to the guys playing the game.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gonat, you got it right.

Wilson catches 6 innings tomorrow and has no knee issues, he'll start opening day.

Imagine the ovation on his first at bat.

Then Suzuki can catch Gio in game 2.

That's how Davey works.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, I have goosebumps just thinking about it. The fans love Wilson and Zuk but we all know that Ramos is here long-term and his upside is being a future All-Star.

Joe Seamhead said...

Jack, not only does Ramos look to be in great shape, the reports of Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman having gained belly fat are not only greatly exaggerated, but total horse patooie. Neither looked to have an unwanted ounce. Also, Denard Span showed part of what he brings to the table in the 1st when he drew a walk, rattled the pitcher into a wild pickoff throw moving him to 2nd, then advancing to 3rd on a ground out by Werth. He ended up scoring on Harper's homer, but Span messes with the pitcher's concentration, and it was demonstrated today.

Anonymous said...

Uh, 3 for 13 is not a 0.273 average (yes, I realize this is wildly important).

Mark Zuckerman said...

Whoops, you're right. He's 3-for-11, not 13.

MicheleS said...

BUFFALO!!!!!!!!! Good to see Wilson making progress and glad to hear of the reports of lack of belly fat on the others.

Doc said...

Great to see Willy Ramos making progress. He must have had gruelling rehab in the winter.

How about Espi continuing to hit RH pitchers from the left!

Now where do we put A. Rendon when the time comes??

Maybe ALR-Garcia is traded in the summer of '14 and RZim takes over 1st. Meanwhile, Skole is looking to break in, maybe replacing Tracey next year.

The beat goes on!


baseballswami said...

So bummed lately. So absorbed in work stuff and barely keeping up on things. Truly thankful for my DVR, for the WBC , but ST games on am radio during the day are about impossible . Settling for recaps and summaries. So it sounds like Danny looks promising, so does Ramos, Bryce is chomping at the bit, pitchers are on schedule. Oh , and Rendon is going to be good. That about it?

NatsJim said...

Glad to hear Wilson's doing so well, but I'm a Suzuki guy - love his attitude and preparation after reading that Kilgore article. But more than anything I hope both have fully productive and healthy seasons (and that Wilson hangs onto the throws from the outfield... 8).

sjm308 said...

NatsJim - I love them both as well but Davey has already talked about Kurt starting on opening day. I realize he can change his mind as the manager but I do wonder how that will affect Suzuki?

Like I said, Wilson will be our starting catcher, hopefully for years to come. I just think this is a year where Davey has to play them both and that is certainly not a bad thing.

As much as everyone wants to love Ramos for what he has gone through, I think Suzuki is a better defensive catcher right now and the offense is not that big a difference between the two. No doubt that Ramos has more power and I can see in a year where everyone in our lineup with the exception of Span will have the ability to hit 20 to 25 homeruns.

NatsNut said...

Hey! I got my Ultimate Ballpark Access card and I'm all set up. Hooray!

Two thoughts:
1. I think it really will be a cool and easy system once people get over the initial fear/discomfort/confusion, and
2. There has GOT to be a better name than freaking Ultimate Ballpark Access card. Mr. Forget-You-Philly-Feffer should get on that right away.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

NN, I think you're onto something. "Freaking Ultimate Ballpark Access Receipt" would work.

SonnyG10 said...

Yes, sofa, that's FUBAR, right?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Ain't it, tho.

natsfan1a said...


Joe Seamhead said...

Edit for my above post: Span advanced to 2nd on the wild pickoff attempt, then to 3rd on the SS's error on what should've been a ground out by Werth, setting up Harper's 3 run homer.

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